Delicato Family Vineyards, Manteca, Calif., announced that it has acquired the historic Santa Lucia Highlands vineyard estate long known to locals as River Road Vineyard from Monterey's McFarland family. The purchase of the 243 acres will strengthen Delicato Family Vineyards' presence in California's leading appellations, including Monterey, Lodi and Napa Valley, the company says.
River Road Vineyard originally was planted in 1972 by the late Jerry McFarland whose early Santa Lucia Highlands vineyard plantings pioneered the foundation for today's acclaimed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay appellation, according to the company.
"Opportunities like this don't come along often, and our family is honored to carry on Jerry McFarland's legacy within the Monterey winegrowing community with the acquisition of River Road Vineyard," said Jay Indelicato, chief operations officer at Delicato Family Vineyards, in a statement. "We couldn't have found a better complement to our existing vineyards as we continue to grow our luxury wine programs."
Stephanie McFarland, wife of the late Jerry McFarland, added: "River Road Vineyard is the crown jewel of the Santa Lucia Highlands and a special place for our family where we source fruit for our McFarland wines, nearly 50 years after Jerry first planted it. A lot of people have asked about River Road, but we wanted it to be in the right hands. Not only does the Indelicato family have a longtime history growing grapes in Monterey, they also share the same dedication to long-term stewardship of the land as our family. We are confident that Delicato Family Vineyards will bring River Road to its highest potential for many more generations to come."
River Road Vineyard is located at the northern end of Santa Lucia Highlands classified as cold Region I, where ocean breezes create superior cool-climate Burgundian varieties Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the company says. It borders Sleepy Hollow Vineyard to the north and west, which Jerry McFarland also originally planted the same year as River Road, it adds.
The transfer of the property was a private transaction between the two families. The McFarland family will continue to source fruit for their wines from River Road Vineyard. The acquisition diversifies the Indelicato family's Monterey vineyard holdings, which include San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey's San Bernabe sub-appellation.