Two of the Napa Valley’s most well-known multigenerational winemaking families have joined grape-growing and winemaking operations. Peter, Willinda and Sarah McCrea of Stony Hill Vineyard, along with Ted, Laddie and Chris Hall of Long Meadow Ranch, announced that Stony Hill Vineyard, located in the Spring Mountain District, will become part of the Long Meadow Ranch Wine Estates (LMR). Founded in the early 1940s by Fred and Eleanor McCrea, Stony Hill has been a California benchmark for estatedriven Old World inspired Chardonnay. The Hall Family and the team at LMR look forward to becoming the next stewards of this iconic winery.
“We are proud to welcome Stony Hill Vineyard to the LMR family. We hope the partnership formed by these two truly unique properties will serve as an example of how family-owned wineries can continue to thrive in the Napa Valley,” says LMR president & CEO Ted Hall.
The McCrea family will retain an equity interest in the combined entity, which is led by Ted Hall, and Executive Vice President & COO, Chris Hall. “We have admired Stony Hill for more than 30 years and look forward to continuing the traditions established by the McCrea family including their commitment to producing terroir-driven, age-worthy wines with low-alcohol, beautiful acidity and minerality,” continued Ted Hall.
The McCrea family sought a partner they knew and trusted, finding shared values with the Halls and Long Meadow Ranch. “We are thrilled to continue family ownership of Stony Hill Vineyard and ensure the estate’s longevity and legacy. The Hall family’s expertise in sustainable, organic farming will add tremendous value to the Stony Hill operation,” said Peter McCrea, one of the Stony Hill proprietors and former Napa Valley Vintners Chair.
Stony Hill will join a lineup of properties owned by LMR in the Mayacamas Mountains, Rutherford, and Anderson Valley. “Stony Hill Vineyard is a natural extension for Long Meadow Ranch, given our commitment to responsibly farmed vineyards that produce elegant, balanced wines that are genuine complements to food,” said Chris Hall. “We plan to continue to produce age-worthy Chardonnay, White Riesling, and Gewurztraminer from Stony Hill Vineyard, as well as expand upon the Cabernet Sauvignon program initiated by the McCrea family in 2009.” Stony Hill’s Cabernet Sauvignon plantings include budwood selected from Long Meadow Ranch’s Mayacamas Estate vineyards, which are located at similar elevations and in comparable geological conditions in the Napa Valley’s western mountains.
Two families grounded in Napa Valley history, the Halls and the McCreas share a long-term personal and professional relationship, allowing seamless combination and integration of the two businesses. The McCreas will maintain an equity stake in the combined business and will play an active role in the leadership of LMR Wine Estates. “We consider this as less of a traditional sale and more of an integration of two family businesses to make a stronger whole,” says Sarah McCrea.
The entire Stony Hill team will become part of the LMR family. Mike Chelini, Winemaker for Stony Hill for more than 40 years, will serve as Winemaker for the 2018 harvest and continue on in the role of Winemaker Emeritus. The vineyard, hospitality and operations teams will join the new company as well.
International Wine Associates (IWA), a California-based M&A advisory firm that specializes in the wine industry, served as the exclusive advisor to and represented the McCrea family and Stony Hill Vineyard in the transaction.