For the second time in six days, E.&J. Gallo Winery announced the purchase of a vineyard in Santa Barbara County.
The Modesto-based company said Wednesday that it has bought the 542-acre Sierra Madre Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. On May 3, it announced it had acquired the 436-acre Rancho Real Vineyard in the same valley.
Gallo did not disclose the price of either property, but it did say it would honor the current contracts with other wineries for the grapes.
Gallo, the world's largest wine producer, still does much of its volume with lower-priced San Joaquin Valley grapes. It started moving into premium coastal regions in the 1980s, including the 2004 purchase of Bridlewood Estate Winery in Santa Barbara County.
Sierra Madre grows pinot noir and chardonnay about 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The cool weather and sandy loam soil allow the grapes "to ripen slowly, while developing intense structure and flavor," a Gallo news releases said.
Gallo's newest property was first planted with vines in 1971. It was owned for the past 15 years by Circle Vision LLC.
Doug Circle, part of that company, said he is "pleased that it is now passing to another family who will responsibly steward it into its next chapter."