Homestead Capital USA, a private equity firm investing in operating farmland in the US, has completed the acquisition of a 105-acre vineyard in the Chiles Valley of Napa County.
The investment was made out of the Homestead Capital USA Farmland Fund II, which closed on its $400 million hard-cap in November, sources confirmed to Agri Investor.
The investment in the wine grape industry follows Homestead’s December 2015 acquisition of a 284.7-acre vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley of Santa Barbara County and a vineyard in Eastern Washington.
California experienced a significant boost to wine production and prices in 2016. The 2016 grape crush totaled 4,196,753 tons, up 8.5 percent from the 2015 crush of 3,868,459 tons, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s preliminary grape crush report.
The 2016 average price per ton across grape varieties was $750.27, up 11.7 percent from 2015, the report shows. In Napa County alone, the average price shot 7.3 percent to $4,666 per ton, the highest in the state.
Homestead said in a statement that it will continue “the vineyard’s heritage as an independent wine grape grower,” primarily planting grape varieties to produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, in addition to small blocks of other red Bordeaux varieties.
Richard Brockmeyer, one of Homestead’s pacific region farm managers, sourced the deal and will continue in a management role with the property. The firm declined to comment.