AXA Millésimes, the wine subsidiary of French insurance company AXA, has acquired Outpost Wines and its ideally located 42-acre Napa Valley vineyards for an undisclosed sum.
Outpost was established in 1998 and has been run by Frank and Kathy Dotzler since 2003. The Dotzlers and their team will continue to work for the vineyard after the acquisition.
Thomas Rivers Brown, Outpost’s winemaker, will also be staying on to oversee the winery’s production, which includes single-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Grenache, as well as a Cabernet Sauvignon blend.
AXA Millésimes has been acquiring and investing in vineyards since the mid 1980s. The company already runs estates in Pauillac, Pomerol and Sauternes in Bordeaux, Tokaj in Hungary, the Douro Valley in Portugal and Nuits-Saint-Georges and Romanée-Saint-Vivant in Burgundy.
According to Christian Seely, managing director of AXA Millésimes, the company had been searching for a Napa Valley estate for a while.
‘Château Pichon Baron in particular produces one of the noblest expressions of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape in Bordeaux, and it seemed logical to us when thinking of a new acquisition to look for a vineyard in Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon has found another home,’ said Seely.