Two of the Napa Valley’s most well-known multigenerational winemaking families have joined grape-growing and winemaking operations. Peter, Willinda and Sarah McCrea of Stony Hill Vineyard, along with Ted, Laddie and Chris Hall of Long Meadow Ranch, have announced that Stony Hill Vineyard, located in the Spring Mountain District, will become part of the
Long Meadow Ranch Wine Estates (LMR). Founded in the early 1940s by Fred and Eleanor McCrea, Stony Hill has been a California benchmark for estate-driven Old World–inspired Chardonnay. The Hall Family and the team at LMR look forward to becoming the next stewards of this iconic winery.
“We are proud to welcome Stony Hill Vineyard to the LMR family. We hope the partnership formed by these two truly unique properties will serve as an example of how family-owned wineries can continue to thrive in the Napa Valley,” stated LMR President & CEO Ted Hall.
The McCrea family will retain an equity interest in the combined entity, which is led by Ted Hall, and Executive Vice President & COO, Chris Hall. “We have admired Stony Hill for more than 30 years and look forward to continuing the traditions established by the McCrea family including their commitment to producing terroir-driven, age-worthy wines with low-alcohol, beautiful acidity and minerality,” continued Ted Hall.
The McCrea family sought a partner they knew and trusted, finding shared values with the Halls and Long Meadow Ranch. “We are thrilled to continue family ownership of Stony Hill Vineyard and ensure the estate’s longevity and legacy. The Hall family’s expertise in sustainable, organic farming will add tremendous value to the Stony Hill operation,” said Peter McCrea, one of the Stony Hill proprietors and former Napa Valley Vintners Chair.
Stony Hill will join a lineup of properties owned by LMR in the Mayacamas Mountains, Rutherford, and Anderson Valley. “Stony Hill Vineyard is a natural extension for Long Meadow Ranch, given our commitment to responsibly farmed vineyards that produce elegant, balanced wines that are genuine complements to food,” said Chris Hall. “We plan to continue to produce age-worthy Chardonnay, White Riesling, and Gewurztraminer from Stony Hill Vineyard, as well as expand upon the Cabernet Sauvignon program initiated by the McCrea family in 2009.” Stony Hill’s Cabernet Sauvignon plantings include budwood selected from Long Meadow Ranch’s Mayacamas Estate vineyards, which are located at similar elevations and in comparable geological conditions in the Napa Valley’s western mountains.
Two families grounded in Napa Valley history, the Halls and the McCreas share a long-term personal and professional relationship, allowing seamless combination and integration of the two businesses. The McCreas will maintain an equity stake in the combined business and will play an active role in the leadership of LMR Wine Estates. “We consider this as less of a traditional sale and more of an integration of two family businesses to make a stronger whole," said Sarah McCrea.
The entire Stony Hill team will become part of the LMR family. Mike Chelini, Winemaker for Stony Hill for more than 40 years, will serve as Winemaker for the 2018 harvest and continue on in the role of Winemaker Emeritus. The vineyard, hospitality and operations teams will join the new company as well.
International Wine Associates (IWA), a California-based M&A advisory firm that specializes in the wine industry, served as the exclusive advisor to and represented the McCrea family and Stony Hill Vineyard in the transaction. For information about International Wine Associates: www.intlwine.com
About Stony Hill Vineyard
The McCrea family first came to the rocky northeast slopes of Spring Mountain in 1943. By 1947, they took a chance on planting the land they dubbed Stony Hill to Chardonnay and Riesling. Over time, they added fields of Gewurztraminer and Semillon, and more recently, Cabernet Sauvignon. Since its first harvest in 1952, Stony Hill has solidified its reputation for minimalist winemaking and restrained style. Stony Hill wines have stood the test of time and the changing palates of consumers, remaining some of the most respected and highly-sought-after wines produced in California. Today, the third generation of the McCrea family, along with winemaker, Mike Chelini, continue to produce limited quantities of their age-worthy, elegant, food-friendly wines. Stony Hill’s vineyards are Napa Green Certified and have been dry-farmed since their inception.
About Long Meadow Ranch
Long Meadow Ranch is a family-owned agricultural enterprise producing estate-grown grapes and wine, olives and olive oil, grass-fed beef and lamb, fruits, vegetables, and eggs. The multifaceted operation includes the LMR Mayacamas Estate home ranch and the 90-acre LMR Rutherford Estate in Napa and the 145-acre LMR Anderson Valley Estate in Mendocino. In addition, Long Meadow Ranch operates a general store and wine tasting bar in the historic Logan-Ives House, an outdoor cafe, a farmer's market, and an acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, all located at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch (738 Main Street, St. Helena in the Napa Valley). The destination location also includes working gardens and a variety of unique event spaces. Consistent with its time-honored motto of "Excellence through Responsible Farming," Long Meadow Ranch is certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers.