Anderson Valley Vineyard Rumours!

Word is that KB has purchased the Cerise, Knez & Demuth Vineyards…

I have not seem in confirmation on the 'Net but the word is that the deals are closed.

Tis true. We lost our Cerise PN fruit this year (and going forward). There are very few independent growers of quality AV fruit left.

Well ain’t that the bee’s knezs!

I’m expecting my phone will be ringing for 2017 fruit after harvest.


KB did not honor 2016 contracts. Expect you phone to be ringing for fruit for this year.

The phone rang like crazy from May until about July when everyone found out we were fully contracted. With the lackluster performance crop in areas south this year I expect a busy year next season.

Crop I hate auto correct. Lackluster Pinot crop!

There is Rhys and I don’t see Kevin selling out anytime soon.

I’m curious who owned the vineyards prior to KB? Did the owners live on the properties? There’s obviously concern among those of us who source fruit that our arrangements could change at any time, even if you have contracts. I guess I presume that absentee owners are probably more liable to sell than people who live and farm their vineyards, so I obviously prefer the latter arrangement. But anybody have more input on the situation here? Thanks.


Kevin does not sell grapes. So that does not help those looking to source fruit.

I believe the Knez partners owned all three vineyards with the Knez vineyard being right in the middle of Demuth and Cerise. Regards to the rumor, assuming JW Childs will be the new vineyard owners as opposed to Kosta and Browne buying the vineyards? Be interesting to see how soon an AV pinot joins the other 3 appellations they make.

Hate to see my beloved Littorai losing fruit sources - first Summa and now Cherise.

Memo to winery owners with deep pockets: please don’t buy One Acre from Richard Savoy!

Just because a vineyard sells doesn’t mean wineries will lose them as a source. Existing contracts must be honored unless there is wording that negates them in the case of a sale. I have not heard of that language being included in any grape contracts so they should have fruit until the existing contract ends and then there will be a negotiation or a conclusion of that contract.

Paul - you are correct that Kevin does not sell his fruit and that doesn’t help those looking to source AV fruit. However, it does help consumers who don’t want to see Kevin’s vineyards fall into the hands of owners not as passionate as he is.

Rivers-Marie is making a Bearwallow so Rhys is selling some fruit.

KB is owned by a VC firm that paid $40M for the brand. I would imagine they will buy out any contracts if they really want that fruit.

I had not heard that. Maybe I should ping Kevin :wink:

You should… Given they have made several Alesia wines from Alder Springs I suspect they would be quite envious of the Halcon vineyard and grapes.

Contracts are only worth the weight of enforcement. I could very well imagine having an agreement that’s simply not worth fighting in court about. The uncertainty, the untimeliness, and even if you “win” you still need those grapes to be farmed well for you and that’s all relationship based, not really contract based. Agreed with the comment about maybe seeing a buy out if KB really wants the grapes. Or perhaps just a termination and invitation to contest it if you wish.

Farming is usually part of the contract, at least here in Napa. With the price of fruit these days you want it to be the best it can be, both grower and buyer. If the grower cuts costs and doesn’t farm it up to expectations in the contract the buyer doesn’t have to buy it and then the grower is left with substandard fruit to sell on the spot market (and word gets around fast as to why a contracted buyer would reject the fruit). If the goal is to get the buyer to back out of the contract this defeats the purpose of keeping the fruit for yourself unless you want to make wine from substandard fruit. I agree that a buyout makes the most sense if they really want the fruit for themselves. The past owners of KB were very good about keeping existing contracts, granted on much larger vineyards. See all the Gap’s Crown and Durell vineyard designates even though the vineyards are owned by Bill Price. Although he and his group are no longer part of KB, I assume Kosta & Browne will be advising their owners to maintain good relationships as long as they can and still fit with their marketing/production plans. It might only be a year or two and maybe for reduced amount of fruit but this business is small and a little good will goes a long way.

One thing to keep in mind, Knez is planted to mostly Pinot Noir but also some small amounts of Syrah/Viognier and Friulano/Pinot Gris/Malvasia so there will probably be some redevelopment before being able to use it as a vineyard source since I don’t see KB farming two 1 acre blocks that are not Pinot Noir. Cerise was planted in 1995 so the vines are getting up there in age and Demuth is ancient at 30 years old. The combined acreage of the three vineyards is 59 acres so there would be a lot of fruit available if there is only one buyer and all were redeveloped to Pinot Noir. From 0 to 90+ tons of AV PN is a big amount of a new wine.