HEITZ CELLAR OWNER BUYS STONY HILL
Gaylon Lawrence, the owner of Heitz, and Carlton McCoy MS, Heitz’s CEO, acquired the Spring Mountain property in late December last year for an undisclosed sum.
This is not the first Napa property the pair have acquired recently, having bought Burgess Cellars in September and Haynes Vineyard in 2019. Lawrence bought Heitz Cellar in 2018.
The pair have also appointed Jaimee Motley as winemaker and Laurie Taboulet as estate director and announced plans to convert the property to biodynamics as they have with the other estates.
Stony Hill was founded by Fred and Eleanor McCrea in 1943, originally as a holiday home before the couple decided to turn it into a vineyard and winery.
Originally planted solely with white varieties after their love of white Burgundy, the first wines were released in 1952 and were an instant success.
The McCreas bolstered their plantings of Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Blanc with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah and the property quickly became one of the valley’s benchmark names.
Although the McCrea family remained involved with the winery until 2018, in that year the owners of Long Meadow Ranch, the Hall family, took a majority stake in the estate.
McCoy commented: “A great wine in its purist form is an expression of the intimate relationship between a passionate vigneron and the unique and exceptional terroir that they have been blessed to oversee. I have admired Jaimee’s wines created under various brands. These wines at times have verged on ethereal and have made it clear to me the potential in Napa that we have yet to fulfill.
“There are butterflies in my stomach to imagine the wines that will result from her connection with the vines of Stony Hill. I have full faith in Jaimee and Laurie’s ability to continue the legacy of this estate that was started by the McCrea family so long ago.”