July 24, 2004
MMD Relaunches a Legend
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, June 30, 2004 – Maisons Marques & Domaines USA Inc. announces the acquisition of Pacific Echo Vineyards and Winery in the Anderson Valley and the relaunch of the original Scharffenberger Cellars brand. Founded in 1981 by John Scharffenberger, Scharffenberger Cellars quickly became well known as one of the finest sparkling wines on the market.
This important acquisition will add another domestic sparkling wine to Maisons Marques & Domaines’ current portfolio, which includes Roederer Estate and a selection of highly regarded wines. Gregory Balogh, President of Maisons Marques & Domaines, remarks «This is a great opportunity for our company to further build the reputation of the American sparkling wine category – we want to revive the legacy of this once well-established brand.» The brand, Scharffenberger Cellars, will be reintroduced with the Brut non-vintage.
In addition, Maisons Marques & Domaines recruited the help of long-term employees of Scharffenberger Cellars/Pacific Echo such as Winemaker Tex Sawyer, Vineyard Manager Tom Reed and various others who will remain within the new organization in their current positions. Balogh states, «It was very important to us to retain these key employees – we want the wine to
continue to be consistent with the original Scharffenberger winemaking philosophy.»
Scharffenberger sparkling wines are made using the traditional méthode champenoise - a process in which the wines are individually fermented in the bottle. The grapes are sourced from Scharffenberger’s 120 acres vineyards as well as select vineyards in Mendocino County. The wine, which is a blend of 2/3 Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay, undergoes malo-lactic fermentation to create a full-bodied style.
Winemaker Tex Sawyer further comments, «Reviving the Scharffenberger Cellars brand is like preserving a piece of history – this brand was so very important in the establishment of the Mendocino County viticulture appellation.» The handover of the winery was July 1st, 2004. Scharffenberger Cellars tasting room will be open to the public on September 1st and the first shipments to the regional distributors will begin in August. The winery is located at 8501 Highway 128 in Philo in the picturesque Anderson Valley.
Scharffenberger Brut (NV) will be represented exclusively by Maisons Marques & Domaines which is located in Oakland, California. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA Inc. was founded in 1987 as the marketing company for Champagne Louis Roederer. The company is a niche-marketer of family-owned, prestigious producers from the world’s great wine regions.
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