French Winemakers Buy Robin Williams’ Napa Estate for $18.1 Million

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The trend of significant Napa Valley wine industry acquisitions by world famous Bordeaux Chateaus continues. First, there was the 2013 sale of Napa Valley’s Araujo Estate to Château Latour. Then, came last year’s sale of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery to the French fashion house Chanel Inc. Recently, Pacific Union International, Inc. announced the purchase of Robin Williams’ Napa estate, “Villa Sorriso” for $18.1 million by clients Alfred and Melanie Tesseron of the famed French winemaking family in Bordeaux, France.

Will Densberger of Pacific Union’s St. Helena office and Rob Landsness of PUI’s San Francisco office represented the Tesseron family. The estate features a 22,000-square-foot home, tennis court, pool, stables and outbuildings, originally designed for the deceased comedian and his family.

The purchase of Villa Sorriso, a 640-acre vineyard estate within the prestigious Mount Veeder wine growing AVA in the Napa Valley is the culmination of an exhaustive multi-year search by the Tesserons for a U.S.-based venture. This is the first vineyard acquisition by the Tesserons, who are celebrated for their award-winning Château Pontet Canet in Pauillac, Bordeaux, as well as for their Tesseron Cognac, outside of Bordeaux. The Tesserons plan to make elite Bordeaux-styled wine in Napa that will be consistent with their wines of Pontet Canet and appreciative of the unique nature of Mount Veeder terroir. Villa Sorriso vineyards primarily are comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, but also has plantings of Cabaret Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Alfred Tesseron took over the reins at Pontet Canet in 1994, astonishing the wine world with back-to-back, 100-point scores on the 2009 and 2010 vintages produced with his unique biodynamic methods of production with lead viticulturist, Jean Michel Comme.

Coincidentally, the Napa Valley is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the famous Judgment of Paris, when the wine world took notice of its wines. At a legendary blind tasting in 1976, a panel of top French wine experts shocked the industry by choosing unknown California wines over France’s best.

Images courtesy of Pacific Union International, Inc.

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