New Life for Historic Sonoma Brand - Wine & Spirits Magazine

New Life for Historic Sonoma Brand

Geyser Peak, the Sonoma County label dating to 1880, is now in the hands of Quintessential Wines. The Napa-based importer of Georges Duboeuf and Quinta da Vallado, among other wines, has purchased the trademarks and existing inventory of Geyser Peak and Atlas Peak from Accolade Brands, an Australian company.

Dennis Kreps

Dennis Kreps, co-owner of Quintessential Wines, said that they will work with a custom-crush facility for their newly acquired brands while looking for a long-term production site. Working with Robert Pepi as a consulting winemaker, they plan to focus on Sonoma County sauvignon blanc with Geyser Peak and Atlas Peak District cabernet sauvignon under the Atlas Peak label.

“We want reestablish Geyser Peak as a Sonoma property. It went from the Trione family to Fortune Brands [Beam Wine Estates] and has been in corporate hands ever since. It had been moved to California varietal bottlings, and we don’t want to battle in the under-$10 range. The focus will be on the $15 sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon from Alexander Valley.”

Kreps says that if they can lock in the right vineyards long term, they will look to add single-vineyard wines to the portfolio. “We want to speak to appellation, and to place,” he says. “At one point the winery was headed in that direction.”

As for Atlas Peak, the Kreps family’s goal is to focus the brand on the Atlas Peak AVA in Napa Valley, where it was originally launched as a collaboration between the Antinori family and Allied Domecq. Kreps mentioned an interest in seeking out sangiovese for the brand as well, a nod to the Antinori family and to Robert Pepi’s early advocacy for the variety in Napa Valley.

The deal includes two other brands, Outlot, based on appellation-specific varietal wines, and XYZin, a brand that Kreps recalls once made three zins—“One from ten-year-old vines, one from fifty-year-old vines and one from hundred-year vines. We’re going to work to go back to that; we just have to source the right zinfandel vineyards.”

And even with the COVID-19 situation, Kreps is optimistic. “2020 celebrates Geyser Peak’s 140th anniversary,” he says, “so we’ll have to do something special with the 2020 vintage.”

Joshua Greene is the editor and publisher of Wine & Spirits magazine.

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