GAYLON M. LAWRENCE JR. ACQUIRES ICONIC HEITZ WINE CELLARS IN NAPA VALLEY
In a joint statement with Kathleen Heitz Myers, Mr. Lawrence said, “I’ve enjoyed coming to the Napa Valley for some time and have long admired the wine industry from afar. Our family was fortunate to have an extraordinary opportunity to acquire such a remarkable family business with Heitz Cellars. We’re very excited about the winery’s bright future.”
Mrs. Heitz Myers said, “Our family founded Heitz Wine Cellars in 1961, and we have treasured our role in helping to shape the history of Napa Valley winemaking for three generations. We feel this is the right time for us to pass this rich legacy to another family. When we met with Gaylon, it seemed a perfect match. Fundamentally, in the wine business we are all farmers and with the Lawrence family’s history in agriculture we feel Heitz Cellars will be in good hands.”
Mr. Lawrence went on to say, “The entire Heitz family were true pioneers in the Napa Valley, setting new quality benchmarks and earning international recognition for their wines. We are committed to the same core values of fine winemaking, and we look forward to advancing the legacy of Heitz Cellars for generations to come. It is a special company in which we take pride in the stewardship of the legacy.”
Mr. Lawrence announced that wine industry veteran Robert Boyd has been appointed as President and CEO of Heitz Cellars.
Mr. Boyd said, “In my years in the wine industry I have watched the developments at Heitz with interest. When I was approached about the role, the chance to help with the transition from one family to another was intriguing to me. I look forward to working with Gaylon and his family and to safeguarding the Heitz family legacy and all that goes with it.”
About Gaylon M. Lawrence, Jr.
Gaylon M. Lawrence, Jr. and his family own a diverse group of companies in the agriculture and banking sectors, among others. They operate their companies with a goal of long term value expansion and an emphasis on owning and operating businesses with scale. Mr. Lawrence and his family have more than 75 years of experience operating large farming enterprises. Currently, they own and manage land in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi and Florida, where their holdings include one of the state’s largest citrus grove management operations. Additionally, Mr. Lawrence and his family hold a stake in one of the largest privately owned HVAC distributorships, headquartered in California, as well as own seven community banks with 31 offices located in Northeast Arkansas, Southeast Missouri and Tennessee.
Wine Institute Elects 2012-2013 Officers of Board:
Kathleen Heitz Myers to serve as board chairman
SAN FRANCISCO – Wine Institute, the public policy advocacy group representing nearly 1,000 California wineries, announced the election of Kathleen Heitz Myers of Heitz Wine Cellars in St. Helena as its board chairman for 2012-2013. Other board officers elected included: Chris Fehrnstrom of Constellation Wines U.S. in San Francisco, first vice chairman; Carolyn Wente of Wente Family Estates in Livermore, second vice chairman; Greg Coleman of E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, treasurer; and Margie Healy of Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville, secretary. Robert P. (Bobby) Koch remains president and CEO of Wine Institute.
"I am honored to support the Wine Institute's work on state, federal and international public policy. We will continue to focus on defeating tax increase proposals, expanding direct-to-consumer shipping, enhancing our wine exports, and promoting the adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices," said Heitz Myers. "As vintners and grapegrowers, we have a long-term commitment to California with deep roots in many communities. We recognize the importance of communicating to the public that the wine industry generates 330,000 jobs and nearly $62 billion in economic impact to California annually."
Heitz Myers has been president of Heitz Wine Cellars since 1998. As the second generation to lead the family business, she has continued to advance the winery's international reputation. She is a dedicated advocate for California wines and is highly regarded for her leadership as past president of the Napa Valley Vintners, past chair of Auction Napa Valley, member of the Land Trust of Napa County Advisory Council and past president of the Napa Valley Exposition board of directors. Wine Institute Press Release - June 13, 2012.