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NorCal Wine Blog

Bill Price Buys Gap's Crown Vineyard in Sonoma Coast AVA

Bill Price, proprietor of Classic Wines, LLC and Price Family Vineyards, LLC has acquired the Gap's Crown Vineyard, along with 268 acres of contiguous land for an undisclosed sum. Gap's Crown is a highly-sought after source for Sonoma Coast AVA Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The land was purchased from Premier Pacific Vineyards, a Napa-based vineyard investment and management firm. Premier Pacific owns 18 other vineyards in California and Oregon.

The Gap's Crown Vineyard holds 106 acres of Pinot Noir (clones 115, 667 and 828) and 32 acres of Chardonnay (clones include Dijon 95 and 124) planted in 2002 and 2007 on rocky, well-drained soil with a clay loam base. It is a hilly vineyard with a northwest facing and ranges from 300 to 800 feet above sea level. It sits at the mouth of the Petaluma wind gap, directly east from the town of Rohnert Park. The vineyard is classified as Region 1 (cool climate) on the Winkler scale due to fresh evening winds that pour into the gap from the ocean less than 15 miles to the west. Warm sunny days develop rich, fruit-driven flavors while the cool nights maintain acidity and retard sugar development, allowing harvests as late as October.

Wines made from Gap's Crown Pinot Noir tend to be rich and concentrated, yet balanced and complex. Producers that have used Gap's Crown fruit in the past include Anaba, Kosta Browne Winery, MacPhail, Patz & Hall, Paul Hobbs Winery and Sojourn Cellars. Under its new ownership, Gap's Crown fruit will still be available to a variety of producers.

In addition to ownership of the Durell Vineyard and other vineyards, plus stakes in four wineries, Bill Price is chairman of both Kosta Browne Winery and Gary Farrell Winery. 37 vneyard acres will be leased from the newly formed Gap's Crown LLC to Kosta Browne Winery which will use it as the basis for a new estate-vineyard program. "It has been the backbone of our Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir program and contributed to our 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir being awarded Wine Spectator's #1 Wine of the Year in 2011," says Michael Browne, founder of Kosta Browne Winery. Bill Price was unavailable for comment today.




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