Atlas Vineyard Management, Inc. and Price Family Vineyards, LLC announce joint venture with the purchase of Sonoma Coast’s Walala Vineyard

Atlas Vineyard Management and Price Family Vineyards are pleased to announce the formation of a joint venture and the purchase of Walala Vineyard, a highly acclaimed property in the Sonoma Coast AVA. The joint venture will also look to acquire other vineyard properties.

The Walala Vineyard, which has been farmed by Mike Cybulski and other Atlas employees since it was planted in 2005, is comprised of 17 acres of Pinot Noir planted on a 97.5 acre parcel that is perched at 1200 feet atop a ridge along the Sonoma Coast, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. The fruit from Walala and Gap’s Crown vineyards provided the core of the 2009 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, which garnered Wine Spectator’s “Wine of the Year” award.

“Walala is a unique and one-of-a-kind vineyard that produces amazing fruit. It’s a very balanced vineyard that has never frosted. It has plenty of water and sets a good, high-quality crop every year. We have been providing consistently high quality, exceptional grapes for wineries such as Kosta Browne, Evening Land and Agnitio Wines,” said Atlas President Mike Cybulski.

The Walala Vineyard was purchased from The Conservation Fund, which acquired it from CalPERS in 2013 as part of the larger Preservation Ranch property which covers more than 19,000 acres of surrounding forest. Atlas approached Bill Price, owner of Classic Wines, LLC and Price Family Vineyards, to create this joint venture due to his expertise in the wine industry, talented management team and goal of acquiring premium vineyard properties.

“We are in a strategic growth phase to build a strong portfolio of vineyards, and we are fortunate to join forces with Atlas Vineyard Management,” said Rob Harris, director of vineyard operations for Price Family Vineyards. “Atlas farms Gap’s Crown vineyard, which we acquired in 2012. Based on our experience, Atlas is an exceptional vineyard management company with an excellent team.”

The Conservation Fund chose to sell the parcel to Atlas with an agreement that the new owners not expand the vineyard into the forestland. “The Conservation Fund was in favor of having us purchase the property because they knew we would be good neighbors and farm sustainably,” said Barry Belli, CEO of Atlas Vineyard Management. “We want to give back to the land and support The Conservation Fund in their efforts.” Atlas will continue to manage and sell fruit from the vineyard to several premiere producers.

About Atlas Vineyard Management, Inc.
Atlas Vineyard Management, Inc is owned by Barry Belli and Mike Cybulski. The company develops and farms select quality vineyards in California’s Central Coast and North Coast as well as the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The company manages over 2000 acres of world class vineyards, owns three vineyard properties and produces award winning wines for Concept Wine Group and Agnitio Wine brands. Atlas provides winegrapes to over 200 premium wineries throughout the premier growing regions of California and Oregon.

About Price Family Vineyards and Classic Wines, LLC
Bill Price is the proprietor of Classic Wines, LLC and Price Family Vineyards, LLC—including ownership and management of 250 planted acres of Sonoma Coast vineyards including Durell Vineyard, Gap’s Crown Vineyard, DuPont Vineyard and three pre-productive vineyard properties that are in varying stages of development. In addition to its vineyard properties, Classic Wines and its affiliates have ownership interests in Kistler Vineyards, Buccella, Three Sticks and LUTUM. Price is also chairman of Kosta Browne Winery and Gary Farrell Winery.