Agriculture

Modesto's Gallo expands again near coast, this time with Santa Barbara County vines

E.&J. Gallo Winery of Modesto, California, has purchased the 436-acre Rancho Real Vineyard in Santa Barbara County. The company announced the deal on Thursday, May 3, 2018.
E.&J. Gallo Winery of Modesto, California, has purchased the 436-acre Rancho Real Vineyard in Santa Barbara County. The company announced the deal on Thursday, May 3, 2018. E.&J. Gallo Winery

E.&J. Gallo Winery has bought a 436-acre vineyard in Santa Barbara County, yet another expansion in a premium region for the Modesto-based company.

The price was not disclosed for the Rancho Real Vineyard, about 13 miles southeast of Santa Maria. Gallo will honor the current contracts with other wineries for the grapes, but they eventually could go into its own brands, spokeswoman Natalie Henderson said Thursday.

The vineyard, which sits along Highway 101, grows varietals such as pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah, grenache, viognier, pinot gris and gamay.

Gallo, the world's largest wine producer, has mainly used grapes from the San Joaquin Valley over its 85-year history. Founders Ernest and Julio Gallo ventured into California coastal regions starting in the 1980s. This includes another Santa Barbara County property, Bridlewood Estate Winery, acquired in 2004.

The latest vineyard purchase "continues our commitment to having vineyards in the premier winegrowing appellations of California,” Roger Nabedian, senior vice president and general manager of Gallo’s Premium Wine Division, said in a news release.

"With the growth of premium wines in the U.S. and the demand for coastal-sourced grapes, additions like Rancho Real are key to Gallo’s growth in the premium and luxury segments."

Gallo employs more than 6,000 people in Modesto, Livingston, Fresno and other locations around the world. It has more than 90 brands of wine and spirits.

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