PlumpJack Winery Group Buys East Napa County Vineyard for $14.5 Million

A winery group co-founded by Governor Gavin Newsom has acquired a 129-acre vineyard in northeast Napa County for $14.5 million.

PlumpJack Group, whose wineries include PlumpJack, Cade and Odette of Napa Valley, has purchased Oso Vineyard from Michael Mondavi Family Estate, according to PlumpJack partner John Conover.

The Michael Mondavi family had owned the property since 2006. PlumpJack Wineries has been buying fruit from the vineyard for six years, Conover said. High-quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, as well as Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot, were attractive on the property.

The deal, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, includes land between Ink Grade and Howell Mountain in Pope Valley.

“Pope Valley is repeatedly overlooked,” Conover said. “It’s still Napa Valley.”

Conover said the wine company, which has 310 acres of vineyards, was looking for inexpensive vineyard land to buy.

The purchase price comes to about $110,000 per planted acre, including rights and other structures on the entire property, he said. High-end Napa Valley vineyards sell for over $400,000 per acre of vines and some for over $1 million.

Conover noted that if vineyard land is not preserved on the North Coast, the pressure for real estate development could even exceed the thirst for more vineyard land. For example, 1 acre of vineyard land at the relatively high industry price of $1 million per acre would equate to $250,000 per quarter-acre residential lot, a price at which the land would sell quickly.

The aim is to use fruit from Oso Vineyard for Odette Estate’s cheaper Adaptation label, launched last year, and expand production of Sauvignon Blanc for the Cade brand.

PlumpJack Collection wineries produce 55,000 to 70,000 cases of wine per year, Conover said.

Newsom and San Francisco billionaire Gordon Getty founded the PlumpJack winery in 1992 and opened the namesake Napa Valley winery in 1997.

Elisha A. Tilghman