Gap's Crown Vineyard

Gap’s Crown is perched on the western edge of Sonoma Mountain and is comprised of 37 vineyard blocks that span 140 planted acres. Ranging in elevation from 300’ to 840’ above sea level Gap’s Crown takes advantage of the steep Sonoma Mountain hillsides to promote natural airflow and soil drainage within the vineyard.

Gap’s Crown is part of the Sonoma Coast AVA and is situated at the confluence of where Sonoma Mountain and its surrounding southwest facing hills meet the Petaluma Wind Gap (Petaluma Gap). To the south the hills of Sonoma Mountain turn southeast and channel the cool breezes of the Petaluma Gap toward the San Pablo Bay. To the north Sonoma Mountain gives way to Crane Canyon and eventually a northwest oriented set of hills. A pocket is formed by Crane Canyon and these northwest hills just to the north of Gap’s Crown, creating a natural fog pocket around the vineyard. Typically, coastal fog that is trapped in this pocket takes longer to burn off during the latter days of the growing season. This lingering fog during at the end of the growing season allows Gap’s Crown fruit to ripen slowly, developing sugar and phenolic ripeness in unison.

Gap’s Crown vineyard is owned and managed by Gap’s Crown, LLC and is located in the Petaluma Wind Gap. Kosta Browne Winery has purchased Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir grapes since 2006, and now enjoys a long term lease of 37 planted acres. Their viticulture is second to none, producing some of the finest grapes in Sonoma County.

William “Bill” Price III, co-founder of private investment company TPG Group and a financier of North Coast wineries such as Kosta Browne, purchased the 138-acre Gap’s Crown pinot noir and chardonnay vineyard in the Sonoma Coast appellation east of Rohnert Park. Mr. Price on Dec. 11 purchased two properties from what had been part of the CalPERS vineyard portfolio. The 106 acres of planted pinot noir and 32 acres of chardonnay are located off Roberts Road on the western slopes of Sonoma Mountain east of Rohnert Park. The sale price wasn’t disclosed in public records. Mr. Price told Wine Spectator that the purchase price was above $100,000 an acre and a new high value level for Sonoma Coast vines. With plantings in 2002 and 2005, Gap’s Crown is a source if grapes for wineries such as Kosta Browne, Paul Hobbs and Patz & Hall. Mr. Price will continue to supply those grape contracts and will purchase fruit for his Three Sticks and Price Chanin brands, he told Wine Spectator. Vineyard acquisition as a way to access key grape supply was a main driver in dozens of North Coast property sales in the past year to wineries, including several in the Premier Pacific Vineyards portfolio. Mr. Price’s history in the wine business includes the purchase and sale of Beringer Vineyards and, more recently, the formation of a boutique vintner investment group called The Vincraft Group. It’s investments include the Kosta Browne and Gary Farrell brands.
Zepponi & Company of Santa Rosa advised Menlo Park-based private-equity firm GI Partners, which has been managing the Premier Pacific Vineyards portfolio for CalPERS for the past year. CalPERS in late 2011 said it would end its relationship with Premier Pacific Vineyards, and GI Partners has been marketing vineyards for sale. American AgCredit financed the purchase.

Last edited on 10/1/2014 by lvjohn

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