Barack Ferrazzano and Sheppard Mullin act on Moet Hennessy's acquisition of Napa Valley vineyard

13 Jul 2022 , 9:11pm

Moet acquires one of the best-known California wine makers, famous for its premium Insignia label and a crown jewel of the Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast

In June, global leader in luxury wines and spirits Moët Hennessy, a division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, announced its acquisition of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, a nearly five-decade-old producer of fine wines from California's Napa Valley and, more recently, the Sonoma Coast. Moët Hennessy purchased the portfolio of Joseph Phelps, which includes the Insignia brand, a Bordeaux-style red blend from Napa. The deal also included 530 acres (215 hectares) of vineyards, including 429 acres (174 hectares) in nine Napa Valley estates and 99 acres (40 hectares) in two estates around the Freestone winery on the Sonoma Coast, according to the winery.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Joseph Phelps has been to the Napa Valley what Nicolas Ruinart, Joseph Krug and Claude Moët were to the Champagne region, and likewise we will continue to develop this new House in respect of the founder’s heritage and vision,” said Philippe Schaus, Chairman and CEO of Moët Hennessy.

Sheppard Mullin served as counsel to Joseph Phelps Vineyards. The deal team was led by partner Stephanie Zeppa and included partners Katharine Allen and Dan Peters; and associates Robert Kay, Karl Buhler and Ryan Lee.

Barack Ferrazzano was lead counsel to Moët Hennessy in connection with the acquisition. The team was led by Fashion, Luxury and Retail group chair Daniel L. Dominguez and Kait E. Kelly, along with senior partners and founders Peter J. Barack and Dennis A. Ferrazzano. Other partners on the team included tax group co-chair Michael J. Towne and Megan E. Toal, IP group co-chair Scott J. Slavick; Thomas M. Gniot and Nicole Chimienti assisted with intellectual property matters; compensation and employment group chair Andrew K. Strimaitis, as well as Corwin J. Carr and Alex Freund, advised on compensation, benefits and employment matters; cybersecurity group chair Karyn L. Doerfler handled privacy issues, and Jim S. Montelongo and Vicky Rusanova provided additional corporate support.