By Aly Brown
One of the oldest wineries in the Livermore Valley region will soon undergo a change of hands, though the new owner remains to be seen.
Concannon Vineyard was listed for sale late last year by its current owner, The Wine Group – a large wine producer that owns such brands as Franzia and Cupcake. While the price was not disclosed, the property sale will include just over 230 total acres along with a visitor center, tasting room, warehouses and offices.
“Some of the functions (at Concannon) are redundant for The Wine Group, so they’re looking to sell it,” said Brooks Pedder, Cushman & Wakefield real estate agent representing The Wine Group. “The Wine Group owns Concannon and a lot of other brands, and a lot of the wine storage and bottling takes place in the Central Valley and a couple (of) different locations, so they just don’t need this … (The Wine Group) have bottling and crush capacity on-site that exceeds the Concannon volume, so we’re looking for somebody who needs more capacity.”
Pedder noted everything from the winery and equipment to the brand name are for sale, while confirming the vineyard’s crops are solely used to produce Concannon wines. With regard to finding a new owner, The Wine Group is not seeking any particular type of buyer.
“The buyer can be anybody from any sector,” Pedder said. “It’s an opportunity for somebody to get into the business.”
The Wine Group originally purchased Concannon in 2002 from Tesla Vineyard, an LLC including members of the Wente Vineyards family. The sales price was undisclosed.
The vineyard’s history took root long before, in 1883, when Irish immigrant James Concannon founded the winery the same year his neighbor, Carl H. Wente, established Wente Vineyards. Since its inception, Concannon has seen four generations of vintners run the family business – including third-generation Jim Concannon, who is touted as the ‘father of petite sirah’ – and a cultivation of wines that put Livermore on the map.
"We have worked through the years with the various owners of Concannon Vineyard to enhance the Livermore Valley wine country and its vineyards and beautiful wines,” said Carolyn Wente, Wente Vineyards CEO, as reported by Wine Business. “Whoever may purchase the winery and vineyards, we look forward to their involvement and contributions to the wine community.”
As the search for the new owner remains underway, Dawn Argula, Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce (LVCC) CEO, also weighed in on the future of the iconic establishment.
“I welcome the opportunity to meet the new owner(s) and learn what they have in mind for the property and its operation,” Argula said. “LVCC looks forward to continuing its long-standing (Concannon Vineyard) partnership and supporting the new company in its efforts to achieve economic prosperity and sustainability in the 21st century while building on the legacy of its founders.”