Ovid Sold

Ovid just just sent an email announcing its sale to Duncan family of Silver Oak & Twomey Cellars!

Didn’t see that one coming.

I mentioned a few months back that Napa was going to go through a shake-up. There’s a lot more coming.

F-ing A…

Kyle…can you post the announcement?

It has been almost 20 years since we began transforming this rugged slice of intensely beautiful land perched above Oakville into Ovid Napa Valley. The rich, complex and many-layered wines that have come to define Ovid are a testament to this location and our accomplished winemaking team. We have loved every minute of the journey, and we are so grateful to each of you for your enthusiastic participation and support along the way.

Over the past few years we have become increasingly aware that for Ovid to continue to thrive, it needs to grow and evolve. It is in this spirit of evolution and transformation that we are excited to share that the Duncan family of Silver Oak & Twomey Cellars, fellow premium Napa Valley winegrowers, entrepreneurs and long-time friends of ours, are taking over ownership of Ovid Napa Valley.

We can imagine no better stewards to continue the Ovid legacy than the Duncan family, who are known throughout the wine industry for their commitment to excellence, sustainability and wines of place and distinction. Under their leadership, together with winemaker Austin Peterson and Managing Partner Jack Bittner, Ovid will continue farming and making wine in the thoughtful and meticulous Ovid tradition. The wonderful Ovid staff will continue to assist you with tours and wine purchases, and they will honor and maintain your position on the mailing list.

As Silver Oak and Twomey CEO David R. Duncan puts it, “Our plan is to let Ovid be Ovid.” With the Duncan family as caretakers of the Ovid legacy, we believe Ovid is in a better position than ever to create wines worthy of this remarkable place.

Each Ovid founding partner will also embark on a new chapter. Mark has started a new company, Machina, in the machine learning/investment space. Dana will continue her work with Nimbus Arts and focus on a long-neglected interest in writing. Janet wants to work with others to achieve the same level of success we have had the privilege of enjoying at Ovid.

While this represents an exciting new chapter for all of us, the most important things endure: the wine, the vineyard and winery, and our friendships with all of you. We wish the Ovid team every success, and joining you as Ovid customers, we look forward to seeing Ovid flourish in the years to come.

I could imagine no worse suitors… and I’m the guy that loves Rolland, cambie, HdB, Melka, Magrez et al. Much rather see KJ take it over.

I see Denny posted it.

What’s driving a shake-up?

The market cannot sustain this. When there are no flippable wines the demand drops. Revenues drop and the dominos start falling one at a time.

$$$$$$$$$$ mostly. You’ve got the new kids trying to make a name for themselves and these huge conglomerates that want total control, a big piece of the pie or name recognition. You offer me 34 million for my wine and pay me good money to make it for you, I’m in. A secondary issue is family owned operations that don’t have a family member who wants to continue being a farmer/winemaker.

The Ovid owners came in with a fortune, I believe from high tech. The encounters I had with them did not indicate a great fit for their personalities. They did everything first class, but that is one expensive venture. My guess would be that the wine business did not fulfill the place in their hearts and lives that they thought it would. This is just Merrill looking at it and thinking…outloud. I went to a couple of open houses and Rolland tutorials there, and I could only think there was no way it could be profitable. Not charging only what they charged per bottle, and investing what they invested. There might be totally different reasons, but in my mind they probably thought it would offer them something other than what it did.

The Duncan’s are in wine for the long haul.again, this me looking in. David Duncan’s wife is a physician…in fact, I will see her in a couple of weeks.

Wow. That’s either really insightful Intel…or incredibly presumptuous ‘thinking outloud’

I don’t know anything about these people but this matches exactly the vibe and the hints I got from their own announcement earlier in this thread, reading between the lines. Regardless I don’t see anything presumptuous in what you have written, seems empathetic to me. Interesting people who found that running a winery didn’t give the psychic satisfaction they hoped.

I think the more one is a combination of farmer and chemist, the more one is happy in a Napa Valley winery. Being a salesperson helps but that is often inconsistent with a farmer or a chemist and can just be a necessary evil. There is poetry in wine but if you’re running a winery there’s not much time for poetry.

And without getting specific, unlike in the late 1990’s, the wines that are still flippable are irrationally so, given the high offering prices to mailing list members, production levels, and uniqueness or lack thereof. Napa land prices in turn require a new winery to start with a high bottle price.

I have been on the mailing list for years. Just did a quick search on winesearcher and there are multiple listings of 2012 and 13 Red for virtually the release price from the winery. It appears that retail and mailing list are intersecting. Love this winery but the investment is likely far outrunning the feasible return on production. OTOH I can see where you might be interested in putting oodles of money in a place that is a crown jewel, and not try to make an immediate buck. I appreciate the honesty of opinions, that’s what makes this board the best…

If there is a cut in quality or a change in the culture of the place, it might be time to consider jumping off the mailer and look at retail only. It still has the most spectacular view!

Wonder what the purchase price involved?

i couldnt agree more.
if you wanna see whats wrong with the valley, look at the people who visit silver joke on the weekends.
their wine is very fitting for their clientele.

That’s an awful broad brush. How often are you at Silver Oak watching “those people”?

you are correct. but you also get the idea.

Try not to confuse weekend tasting/tour visitors with actual clientele.

Maybe just try not to judge other people based on what they enjoy drinking/doing?