July 7, 2007
Mendocino County, Calif. grape growers and wine producers Charles and Martha Barra and their family have completed the buyout of Redwood Valley Cellars, the 50-acre custom crushing, vineyard, and tasting room facility located just north of Ukiah.
The Barra family, along with the Bill Pauli family, have shared joint ownership of this unique facility over the last 12 years.
“Just like harvest, it's all about timing,” says Charlie Barra, a North Coast grape grower for 60 years, of the decision to purchase the Redwood Valley Cellars facility.
“In any business, there comes a time when you're presented with a fork in the road. Our fork came in the form of a unique opportunity to meet the expanding needs of both our wine brands and our wine services (certified organic bulk wine, custom crushing, and storage) by transitioning to 100 percent ownership of Redwood Valley Cellars.”
In conjunction with the decision to expand their footprint in the Mendocino County wine business, the Barra family hired winemaker Dan Kopache.
With more than 18 years of winemaking experience at premium California wineries, including Benziger, Kendall-Jackson and Fetzer, Kopache brings the knowledge, understanding, and hands-on skills that are necessary to help build the Barra of Mendocino business, says Martha Barra.
“From the boutique-style Imagery Series brands of Benziger to the Australian-influenced blends of the Collage wines from Kendall-Jackson, Dan has proven himself to be an accomplished winemaker that can adapt to any setting.”
“It's not often that you get the chance to be a part of something like this,” says Kopache. “The Barra family has spent the last 60 years building a foundation to produce premium, consumer-friendly wines. To be able to come in and help them grow their own brands as well as deliver superior quality and service to their custom crush clients is an incredible opportunity.”
Charlie Barra began farming in Mendocino County on leased land in 1945. He now farms more than 200 acres of certified organic vineyard. “We're thrilled to see this evolution take place,” says John Enquist of the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission. “The Barra family has been very active in helping promote the Mendocino County wine region and this new expansion will undoubtedly be good for both the Barras and the region as a whole.”
Redwood Valley Cellars will continue to be the name for the custom crush/storage facility. The tasting room facility will be renamed BARRA of Mendocino Winery. For more information visit www.barraofmendocino.com.
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