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Napa Valley’s Shafer Vineyards, an icon of the Stags Leap District, has sold its winery to South Korean retail company Shinsegae for $250.3 million.
“After long and careful consideration, our family has sold Shafer Vineyards to its new stewards, the wonderful team at Shinsegae Property,” said president Doug Shafer in a message to the company’s consumers. “Shinsegae is a luxury brand based in Seoul, South Korea, with department stores, shopping centers, golf resorts, hotels, and other interests, [and] it’s been a real pleasure to get to know their team and I’m very excited about this new chapter for our vineyards and winery.”
Shafer, winemaker Elias Fernandez, and the company’s winemaking and vineyard teams are remaining on-staff, however, and Shafer said he looks forward to being able to focus more of his time on strategy and other bigger-picture parts of the wine business.
“I have a lot of confidence in this new team … Shafer remains in good hands and if my parents could be here for this moment, I know without question that they would agree,” he said. “For those who are fans of our wines and our team, you’ll see a continuation of everything you love about the winery, while at the same time, there may be some new things down the road that I think you will love and embrace as well.”
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According to Korea Herald reports, industry experts have said that since Shinsegae L&B has its own wine shop brand – Wine and More – the group is now primed to add premium wine to their shelves with this purchase.
“With the acquisition, we plan to further expand the group’s wine business by creating synergy with its Shinsegae L&B that is in charge of the wholesale distribution of wine and liquor,” said an official on behalf of Shinsegae Property.
As a staple of the Napa wine scene, the fact that Shafer Vineyards is shifting ownership marks a transition here in the valley as the movers-and-shakers of the industry are growing older and changing priorities, and is sure to cause some shock in the business.
“The Shafer hillside estate here in Napa Valley has been the site of grape growing and winemaking for more than 140 years,” said Shafer. “Our family became part of the story of this place in late 1972 when my parents, John and Bett Shafer, purchased this special property, and it has been an incredible honor to act as the latest stewards of this land and to produce wine from the gifts these vineyards have given.”
“As the story of Shafer Vineyards continues, we all hope we can count on your continued friendship and support … You have played a central role in the success of who we have been thus far,” he continued in his heartfelt message.
“This is your story too.”
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You can reach Sam Jones at 707-256-2221 and [email protected].