Hess Persson Winery

Hess Collection Purchases Iron Corral Vineyard

Hess Persson Family owned business has expanded its portfolio with the purchase of a vineyard in east Napa County from a Texas pension fund.

The Pope Valley property, known as Iron Corral vineyard, is 420 acres, 186 of which are planted primarily in Cabernet Sauvignon, according to the company. The Hess Collection purchased the land from the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System.

The Hess Collection did not disclose the purchase price for the property; however, public records indicate the land sold for $23.5 million. Escrow closed May 1, according to The Hess Collection. The deed was recorded Wednesday in Napa.

The Hess Collection’s holdings until now included 455 planted vineyard acres in Napa County. With the purchase, the company now owns 872 arable vineyard acres in the county, according to the winery.

The acquisition of Iron Corral Vineyard is part of a long-term strategy to expand its holdings in Napa County and zero on the production of luxury-priced wines, according to a company written statement.

“Ever since my father-in-law Donald Hess came to Napa Valley 35 years ago, our family philosophy has been to craft luxury wines from estate vineyards,” Timothy Pearson, chairman at The Hess Collection, stated in the written statement. “Over the last five years, we have been looking strategically at Napa Valley vineyards that support our Cabernet Sauvignon expansion and Iron Corral is a perfect fit for us. We have been farming in the Napa Valley region since the late 1970s, we know what it is capable of in the Cabernet arena and we could not be more excited.”

Iron Corral Vineyard is two miles from Hess Collection’s Allomi Vineyard, another property the company owns in Pope Valley, according to the company. The Hess Collection purchased fruit from Iron Corral Vineyard in 2018.

The Hess Collection said the company will honor the contracts currently in place for the “foreseeable future,” according to the company statement. About 200 tons of fruit from Iron Corral Vineyard will be set aside for The Hess Collection’s Lion Tamer programs.

The cash-strapped Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund in December sold  the historic Aetna Springs Resort, another property the fund had invested in Pope Valley, for a loss, according to news reports. A representative for the pension fund could not be reached to comment on the sale.

See an updated list of the Top 100 Vineyard Owners in Napa in the May 2019 Wine Business Monthly starting on page 132
Companies mentioned in this article:
Hess Persson Estates
Napa, CA
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