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Gallo gulps another premium wine label

Gallo gulps another premium wine label
E & J Gallo Winery in Modesto will need to update its display case, after it added Talbott Vineyards to its premium portfolio Wednesday. (Dave Getzschman / For the Times)

E &J Gallo Winery has purchased Talbott Vineyards, extending its presence in the state's central coast region and adding another premium estate brand to its portfolio.

Details of the deal were not disclosed. It will include Robb Talbott's original winery and tasting room in Carmel Valley as well as the 525-acre Sleepy Hollow Vineyard he purchased in 1994, according to Gallo.

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Talbott said he was "confident that the future for Talbott Vineyards will be secured" by Gallo.

"Talbott Vineyards has an exceptional reputation for producing world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands," said Roger Nabedian, senior vice president and general manager of Gallo's Premium Wine Division. "As this region's unique characteristics become more widely known, we see a great future for Talbott Vineyards as part of our fine wine portfolio.  We look forward to continuing to deliver credible and award-winning wines."

The move comes on the heels of Gallo's purchase last month of Asti and the Souverain brand, and the March purchase of J Vineyards and Winery, both in Sonoma County.

"Gallo needs resources in order to grow its business in the premium segment," said wine industry analyst Jon Fredrikson of Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates in Woodside, Ca. "For the Talbott acquisition, I believe it was the acreage that was the big attraction. For Asti, it was production capacity, along with a grandfathered sizable production permit."

Gallo, based in Modesto, produces more than 80 brands and owns 13 wineries in California and Washington.

The sale is scheduled to close Sept. 4, the company said.

Follow me on Twitter: @LATgeoffmohan

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