David J. Carciere Talks About His Unique Real Estate Market In The Wine Industry

David J. Carciere

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David J. Carciere is the principal of Cru Land Company. Cru is the culmination of more than 15 years of wine-industry and wine and vineyard-related Real Estate experience. In 2010, David was a founding partner at First Leaf Land Acquisitions where he spent a decade brokering agricultural and vineyard-land sales. During that period, he also worked in the wine industry with his family’s wine label, Suacci Carciere Wines, and farmed the Donnelly Creek Vineyard in Anderson Valley – a premium Pinot Noir growing region on California’s North Coast.

Understanding first-hand the intersection of the Real Estate, farming, and production sides of the vineyard and wine industry gives David a unique perspective when evaluating and analyzing potential Real Estate investment opportunities. This perspective has been further shaped and refined over the past decade by working with and learning from many of the savviest clients in the industry. This client list includes prominent Sonoma and Napa wine producers, private real estate investment groups, and some of the largest agricultural and vineyard investment funds in the nation.

Here, David talks with Haute Residence about his niche area of real estate and what makes his market unique.

Lauterbach Cellars - $2,550,000/SOLD

I initially got into Real Estate because my uncle spent his entire career in it – interestingly he was one of only a handful of people who appraised golf courses in the U.S. I started with him prior to graduate school and subsequently moved onto the agricultural side of appraising upon return. In 2010, I made the decision to pivot from appraisal to brokerage. Now I’m heavily invested in Real Estate and (at least) one of my daughters is threatening to follow in my footsteps.

I studied Engineering at Cal Poly, and after a brief stint in the Engineering world, I began working as an appraiser. After getting my feet wet and realizing Real Estate was a good fit, I returned to school and got a master’s degree in Land Economics and Real Estate from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M.
After graduation, I returned to Sonoma County and secured my Certified General Appraisal License and Real Estate license. In 2010, a business partner and I formed First Leaf Land Acquisitions. The Goal at First Leaf was to sell the highest quality vineyard land in Western Sonoma County – ultra-premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sites. As that business grew, I began to bring in larger Institutional Investors as clients – these clients were looking to deploy capital at scale so I began to look beyond Western Sonoma County and to other markets on the North Coast (Napa, Lake, and Mendocino Counties) where we could find much larger tracts of premium vineyard to suit their needs.
In 2020, I launched Cru Land Company – my goal with Cru is to provide investors, ultra-premium wineries, and lifestyle buyers (high net-worth individuals) with access to the best vineyard properties and investment opportunities on the North Coast. Since 2020, 40%+ of our deals have been off-market and I have represented the buyer on 85%+ of my transactions. Essentially my mandate is to go find, whether on or off the market, whatever my buyers tell me they want.

The Galante Vineyard - $4,525,000/SOLD

We’ve closed on a portfolio of incredibly compelling wine and vineyard assets but my biggest success isn’t a single deal, but rather the business that’s been built from the ground up and the relationships that have been cultivated over the years that continue to provide a symbiotic relationship for both my clients and me.
We’ve built the business to an exciting place, but we have so much further to go, more clients to engage with, and more incredible properties to work with – I couldn’t be more excited about where it’s all going.

The fact that I focus purely on wine and vineyard properties – most often driven by a heavy “spreadsheet” (investment) component differentiates me from other brokers in the marketplace. Some of my clients have $1.0bn in vineyards and farmland AUM, others own and farm vineyards that go into their $125+ bottles of wine. The level of sophistication of these clients is incredible.

I’ve sourced deals directly for them and worked intimately with them on their underwriting and analysis, looking behind the curtain at how these organizations put their numbers together. The expertise I’ve gained from these experiences is now provided to my clients when evaluating their own acquisition opportunities.


For more information, please contact David J. Carciere at 707-479-2199

David J. Carciere is one of the exclusive agents representing the Sonoma County, California real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of his listings here.

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