California winery Qupé sold to Vintage Wine Estates
California winery Qupé, known for its cool-climate wines made from Rhône grape varieties, has been sold to Vintage Wine Estates by Terroir Life for an unnamed sum.
The deal for Qupé includes the Central Coast producer’s brand and wine stocks, with Bob Lindquist staying on in a consulting winemaker role 36 years after he founded the winery in California’s Santa Maria Valley.
‘We share Bob’s passion for Syrah and other Rhône varieties, and his commitment to quality and sustainability,’ said Pat Foley, CEO of Vintage Wine Estates. ‘We are looking forward to honouring that legacy.’
As well as Syrah, Qupé – the name is taken from the Chumash word for poppy, California’s state flower – makes wines from Rhône varietals Grenache, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne, as well as Chardonnay.
The acquisition comes five years after Lindquist to sold a controlling stake in Qupé to Terroir Capital, parent company of wine investment fund Terroir Life, which was established by former Screaming Eagle owner Charles Banks.
However, Banks is now serving a four-year sentence in federal prison for wire fraud, after he advised former NBA star Tim Duncan to invest US$13m in Gameday Entertainment, a sports merchandise business part-owned by Banks.
Duncan received no return on his investment, a court in Texas was told last year, with Banks pleading guilty to one count of fraud after initially denying wrongdoing.
Following the acquisition by Vintage Wine Estates, Qupé will continue to source grapes from Central Coast vineyards including French Camp in Paso Robles, Bien Nacido (Santa Maria), Sawyer Lindquist (Edna Valley) and Ibarra-Young Vineyard (Santa Ynez).
Vintage Wine Estates, which owns a number of wineries including Clos Pegase, Cosentino and Firesteed, has also recently acquired two more Central Coast producers in Clay House and Layer Cake.