Beyond strategic value, the acquisition of Steele Wines epitomizes the pioneering spirit of Clay Shannon. His mission since 1996 has been to promote Lake County as a premier wine-producing region in California, combined with an unwavering commitment to sustainable operations. To underscore this point: only 45% of the winery’s 2500 acres have been converted to vineyards, preserving the rest of the property for natural wildlife to pass through peacefully.
Shannon Ridge plans to use the newly acquired facilities not only for the increased winemaking capacity and storage – 2,500 tons and 6,000 barrels, respectively – but also for introducing a new on-site property experience, ‘Shannon Mercantile,’ at the current Steele tasting room in Kelseyville. In addition to the Shannon Ridge and Steele wine portfolios, the planned Lake County establishment will offer the ranch’s grass-fed lamb, farm eggs, and other home goods and merchandise. Shannon remarked, “We aim to make Shannon Mercantile a family-friendly destination where folks can enjoy their wine with a picnic lunch on the lawn, movie nights on warm summer evenings, and festivities to celebrate various holidays throughout the year.” Shannon aims to make the mercantile a go-to destination in Lake County and is tentatively scheduled to open in spring 2021.
Steele Wines celebrated its 28th anniversary in 2020 and has spent nearly the last three decades specializing in producing high-quality, small-batch, (under 1,000 cases), varietals sourced from the finest vineyards in Lake and Mendocino Counties. After 50 years of winemaking in California, founder Jed Steele will assume a supporting role in the winery, assisting in the production of Steele Wines and enjoying retirement at his properties in Lake County, Montana, and Florida.
Shannon ridge was advised in this transaction by former and now retired Shannon Ridge CFO, Don Chase of Don Chase Wine Industry Management Services.
About Shannon Ridge Family of Wines: Shannon Ridge was founded in 1996 in Lake County, CA, and has been dedicated ever since to making top-quality wines at affordable prices. Their high-elevation vineyard sites are sustainably farmed to preserve the natural habitats of local wildlife. The Shannon Ridge Family of Wines portfolio includes Buck Shack, Clay Shannon, High Valley, Old Pearl, OVIS, Pistol Grip, Playtime, Urgency, Vigilance, Shannon Ridge, and Shannon Reserve. For more information on Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, please visit shannonfamilyofwines.com or call 707.994.9656.
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