Foley Family Wines Purchases Napa Valley's Sawyer Cellars

Rutherford Winery Along Highway 29 Will Become Home to Foley Johnson Winery

May 21, 2012, 05:00 ET from Foley Family Wines

HEALDSBURG, Calif., May 21, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- Foley Family Wines announced it has acquired Napa Valley's Sawyer Cellars. The purchase includes a 49 acre parcel including 40 acres of premium Rutherford vineyards and a 20,000 gallon winery and tasting room along Napa's famed Highway 29.  Foley did not buy the Sawyer brand but will continue to sell the wines from the tasting room.

According to Bill Foley, "We've been looking for a home along Highway 29 for our Foley Johnson winery. This purchase provides us with a great location for our tasting room, an excellent winemaking facility and 40 acres of superb vineyards in the heart of the Rutherford appellation."

The winery and hospitality center are housed in a converted redwood barn that has stood on the property since the Prohibition era. There is also an underground barrel room, wine library and a modern gravity-feed cellar.  Sawyer Cellars Proprietor Charles Sawyer stated, "This has been an incredible eighteen years for Joanne and me. There is no place like Napa Valley for its beauty, incredible terroir and climate for growing wine grapes, but the hidden treasure of Napa Valley is its people. We will miss this life, our friends, our incredible staff, wine club members and our visitors terribly. The upside is we have left the winery in good hands with the Foleys, and we are confident they will be great stewards of the land. We wish them much success."

Brad Warner, the winemaker at Sawyer since 1999, will become the head winemaker for Foley Johnson. Brad is one of the most respected and experienced winemakers in the Napa Valley. He began his career in 1967 at Charles Krug. Three years later he moved to Robert Mondavi winery and remained there for 30 years.

The Foley Johnson wine brand is composed of two tiers of wine: Napa and Handmade. The Napa tier focuses on wines from the estate vineyards in Rutherford and from other high profile vineyards in Napa.  The Handmade tier features special small-lot bottlings from Foley Family Wines' California winemakers Camille Benitah of Merus, Dave Lattin of Kuleto and Lisa Bishop Forbes of Chalk Hill, Mark Lyon of Sebastiani, Paul Warson of Firestone, Leslie Mead Renaud of Lincourt and Brad Warner of Foley Johnson.

About Foley Family Wines
Foley Family Wines was established by Bill Foley in 1996 with the acquisition of Lincourt Vineyards in California's Santa Ynez Valley. Since then, Foley Family Wines has grown to become a major producer, marketer and distributor of highly-acclaimed, handmade wines from some of the world's greatest vineyards. Every brand in the company's portfolio is distinct and autonomous with its own identity, style, techniques and personnel. Foley Family Wines owns the following properties: Foley Estates (Santa Rita Hills, CA), Lincourt Vineyards (Solvang, CA), Merus (Napa Valley, CA), Chalk Hill (Sonoma County, CA), Sebastiani (Sonoma County, CA), Kuleto (Napa Valley, CA), Altvs (Napa, CA), Three Rivers Winery (Walla Walla, WA), Firestone Vineyard (Santa Ynez Valley, CA), Eos (Paso Robles, CA), Vavasour (Marlborough, New Zealand), Clifford Bay (Marlborough, New Zealand). Bill Foley is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors for Fidelity National Inc and Executive Chairman of Fidelity National Information Services. Both are Fortune 500 companies.

SOURCE Foley Family Wines