Pinault Family Buys Napa Araujo Estate Wines to Add to Latour

The family of French billionaire Francois Pinault, owner of Chateau Latour in Bordeaux, has acquired California’s Araujo Estate Wines along with its flagship Eisele Vineyard.

Araujo has 162 acres (66 hectares) in the northern Napa Valley, including Eisele, which produces Cabernet Sauvignon red wines, along with a winery and cellar complex. No purchase price was disclosed.

The deal comes amid rising demand for Californian premium wine since 2011 after three years of decline during the financial crisis. John Kapon, chief executive officer of New York-based auction house Acker Merrall & Condit, described demand for California wines this month as “very healthy.”

Araujo and Eisele “have been producing consistently one of the very best wines of Napa Valley,” Frederic Engerer, Chief Executive Officer of Chateau Latour, said in a statement released July 25.

Araujo Estate was founded by Bart and Daphne Araujo in 1990, when they acquired the 38-acre Eisele Vineyard and additional land after Milton and Barbara Eisele had run it since 1969. Eisele is farmed on a biodynamic basis and vines have been grown on the land since the early 1880s.

Pinault’s purchase, through the Artemis Group family holding, brings the Napa vineyard into a stable that includes Domaine d’Eugenie in Burgundy and Chateau Grillet in France’s Rhone Valley.

Pinault, 76, is the founder and controlling shareholder of French luxury goods company Kering (KER), whose chief executive officer is his son Francois-Henri. The company’s brands include Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta.

To contact the reporter on this story: Guy Collins in London at guycollins@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Sillitoe at psillitoe@bloomberg.net

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