Founded in 1975 by Josh Jensen (pictured atop), Calera helped establish pinot noir as among North America’s favorite varietals, the company says, and helped establish Central Coast as one of the New World’s most exciting wine regions. Calera has been named a “Top 100 Winery” by Wine & Spirits four times in the past decade.
The sale includes the Calera winery, brand, tasting room, estate vineyards and all inventory and assets. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Calera will continue to produce its portfolio of wines at its seven-level, gravity-flow winery in Hollister, California. All key personnel, including Winemaker Mike Waller, will remain with the winery. Jensen, who is 73, will continue to remain involved at Calera, and will join the Duckhorn Wine Company Board of Directors, where he will serve alongside his longtime peer, Dan Duckhorn.
“In this era of industry consolidation, it was vital to me that I choose a partner that not only shares the values that have always defined Calera, but that also has the market presence to provide our wines a continued strong and secure route to market,” says Jensen. “Duckhorn is one of the most respected luxury wine companies in the world, and for good reason. They have integrity, and they are absolutely focused on making great wines. I’m proud to be entrusting Calera to their expert hands.”
In addition to the winery and tasting room, the sale includes Calera’s renowned Selleck, Jensen, Reed, Mills, Ryan and de Villiers estate vineyards in the Mt. Harlan AVA. Totaling 85 planted acres, these vineyards are between 2,200 and 2,500 feet above sea level and feature plantings dating back to 1975.
While vineyard and winemaking operations will remain unchanged at Calera, the winery “will benefit from leveraging the sales and marketing experience of Duckhorn, which maintains an in-house sales team of more than 50 people, with placements in more than 30,000 accounts throughout the United States, and in 50 countries around the world,” the company says.
Duckhorn Wine Company includes includes Duckhorn Vineyards, Goldeneye, Paraduxx, Migration, Decoy and Canvasback.
International Wine Associates served as the exclusive advisors to and represented Calera in this transaction.