Continuing Precept Wine’s pursuit of excellent vineyard land in the Pacific Northwest, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Browne announced today the purchase of 62 acres of Yakima Valley ranch land bordering its existing Skyfall Vineyard, located just south of Red Mountain outside of Benton City, Washington. Terms of the private sale are undisclosed.
“This Skyfall Vineyard addition is part of our company’s goal to attain operational excellence and realize world-class vineyard sites that will be consistent sources for long-term production,” Browne said. “We’ve already seen the potential of this site with the remediation of Skyfall Vineyard, acquired in 2013, and we’re thrilled to add premium red Bordeaux wine grape varieties at the neighboring site.”
In June 2013, Precept Wine acquired the 174-acre parcel, Skyfall, comprised of both vineyards and orchard land. Vice President of Vineyard Operations Dave Minick and his team replanted a significant portion of the orchard land to vineyard across more than a dozen mainly red wine varieties. In acquiring the new, neighboring parcel, approximately 57 of the 62 total acres will be planted with vines in spring 2017. About two-thirds of the varieties will be planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, rounded out by Malbec and a small amount of Petit Verdot.
“From a grape-sourcing perspective, it’s always advantageous to be more self-reliant and we know from our first phase of Skyfall, this site produces outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon and other reds,” Minick said. “This acquisition will make the total Skyfall Vineyard footprint 162 acres under vine once fully planted, creating a more efficient farming operation. As a farmer, there’s a sentiment that ‘you always want to buy next door.’
Situated in a warm, sunny spot of the valley on a bluff above the Yakima River, the area benefits from a bright reflection from the Horse Heaven Hills to the south (imparting a nice tannin structure that warmer vineyard sites provide, along with balanced acidity for which the Yakima Valley AVA is known). The site also has unique granite erratics; these partially exposed boulders were brought by ancient floods.
The Skyfall site is the earliest-ripening vineyard in the Precept portfolio, which times well from the perspective of labor resources, too, Minick added.
The total footprint of Skyfall Vineyard, with the new eastern addition, will amount to 236 planted and unplanted acres – 174 acres are from the original Skyfall parcel.