Yet another Napa Valley winery has exchanged owners. This time it is one of our favorite wineries to visit in the Napa Valley. Clos Pegase is one of our favorites in terms of its wonderful appeal as it sits among the vines and the backdrop of the Vaca Mountains. It is an architectural wonder among wineries of the Napa Valley. The winery is stunning, painted in pastel colors with lines and columns that blend in perfectly with the vineyards and surrounding countryside. The grounds and interior are immersed with works of art. It is a delight to stroll the vineyards and the gardens of this secluded winery off the Silverado Trail on Dunaweal Lane. We think it is a “must visit” for the wine country traveler.
According to Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal, the owner Jan Shrem sold the winery because at age 83 he no longer has the energy and drive to do what it takes to run a winery. The Lettie Teague article states that Jan Shrem and his wife will donate many of the sculptures that sit on the winery to UC Davis. That means in the future the winery atmosphere will be missing an integral part of its mystique.
The new owners are a group of investors led by Leslie Rudd. Leslie owns Dean & Deluca, the Oakville Grocery stores in Oakville and Healdsburg, Press Restaurant in St. Helena, and two wineries, Rudd Winery and Edge Hill Estate. Clos Pegase wines have always been highly regarded and reasonably priced in terms of Napa Valley wines. What the new owners will do is only conjecture at this point. They could increase production, replant the vineyards, make cult wines, or just keep things as they are today. My guess is the latter will not be the case. Otherwise, why take the opportunity to make such a large purchase? In the meantime, visitors to wine country should jump on the chance to visit Clos Pegase before any of the beautiful pieces of the Jan Shrem art collection make their way to U.C. Davis.
This is the third winery in recent months to be sold in the Napa Valley. Previously this year, the historic Mayacamus Vineyards was sold and just last month the Araujo Estate winery was sold to French winery owners. Will this trend continue?