Vintage Wine Estates announced today that it has procured the rights to distribute Clayhouse (Paso Robles) and Buried Cane (Columbia Valley), brands developed by Middleton Family Wines.
“We have been looking to expand our presence in Paso Robles, California and Washington State,” says President and CEO Pat Roney, in a press release. “Clayhouse is a stellar addition to our current Paso Robles portfolio, and we are thrilled to have Buried Cane as our inaugural Washington State wine.”
The Middleton family has worked with the land for four generations, the company says, gradually expanding to include table grapes, wine grapes and wine. “It was essential that we find the right partner to take these wines to the next level,” says Rick Middleton, President, Middleton Family Wines. “Vintage Wine Estates is also family-owned and shares with us a commitment to quality and sustainability.”
The Vintage Wine Estates team will take on all national sales and marketing responsibilities for the two brands effective immediately. The current winemakers for both Clayhouse and Buried Cane will continue to make the wines in the traditional style and flavor profile.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Middleton Family Wines will continue to make and represent nationally their Northwest-focused brands Cadaretta and Inconceivable.
The name Clayhouse references the adobes on the Paso Robles landscape, the company says, including a preserved adobe house dating back to the 1840s located on the winery estate. All wines are made from certified sustainably farmed grapes from the 1,500 acre Red Cedar Vineyard, on the Estrella River benchlands east of the city of Paso Robles. Plantings here date from the late 1960s, including several own-rooted blocks (Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon).
Buried Cane wines are named after a Washington State practice used to protect grape vines from frigid winter temperatures, the company reports. Low-growing vine canes (shoots) are buried under the soil, then unearthed after winter freezes pass. The wines include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Heartwood (red Rhône blend) and are sourced from vineyards in the Columbia Valley and Washington State.