Diamond Creek Vineyards has been sold to the French Champagne producer Maison Louis Roederer, the two confirmed in a press release Thursday.
Diamond Creek, founded in 1968 by Al and Boots Brounstein, is perhaps best known for its pioneering work with terroir-driven wines. The estate winery was the first in California to produce exclusively Cabernet Sauvignon, Boots Brounstein’s son Philip Ross told the Register following the death of his mother in July of last year. The winery produces labels from its distinct vineyards, Lake, Red Rock Terrace, Gravelly Meadow, and Volanic Hill, which it bottles separately.
The sale includes the winery, the 79-acre property on Calistoga’s Diamond Mountain (which includes about 20 acres of vineyards) and existing inventory, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. No purchase price was listed.
“The legacy that my mom and my late step-father built with Diamond Creek… is legendary,” Ross said after Boots’ passing. Al passed away in 2006.
It’s that legacy Ross, who ran the winery along with his mother before her death, hopes to conserve with the sale of Diamond Creek, he said in an interview.
“The two families have worked very hard to make this happen,” he said, speaking of Diamond Creek and the Rouzaud family, which owns Louis Roederer. Frederic Rouzaud, president and CEO of Maison Louis Roederer, is a member of the family’s seventh generation to have owned Roederer.
“We wanted to have the right partner to make this happen, and Frederic and his family are absolutely the right partners.”
The Brounsteins and Rouzauds became acquainted in 1997, when Al and Boots joined the Jean-Claude Rouzaud, Frederic’s father, in celebrating “the 30 greatest wines in the world” on Jean-Claude’s 30th anniversary leading Louis Roederer, according to the press release. The friendship continued through the years, the release said, noting that Boots and Frederic were “exploring ways to partner” when she passed at age 92 in the summer of 2019.
Winemaker Phil Steinschriber, who has been with the winery since 1991, has agreed to stay on, according to the release, as have the majority of the existing staff, many of whom the release notes have worked at Diamond Creek for decades. Ross will also remain “for a period of time,” the release said.
Roederer owns other California properties; it purchased Merry Edwards, a winery known for its Pinot Noir in Sonoma County, in 2019, and Scharffenberger Cellars, a sparkling wine producer, in 2004. The Champagne house also owns Roederer Estate and Domaine Anderson in the Anderson Valley.
“Since 1990, Maison Louis Roederer has strategically acquired esteemed family-owned wineries with an approach centered around identical core values, long-term vision and continuity,” the release said.
“They don’t make acquisitions unless they feel that the properties are iconic, and they have a long history of continuing legacies,” Ross said, of Roederer. “They want to keep Diamond Creek the gem it is today.”