Paso Robles' Justin Vineyards and Winery Buys Napa's Lewis Cellars
Paso Robles-based Justin Vineyards and Winery is acquiring Napa's Lewis Cellars, Wine Spectator has learned. The price was not disclosed. The deal includes the brand, winery and inventory. Justin, owned by the Resnick family's California based Wonderful Company, a large farming firm that owns brands like Fiji Water and Pom Wonderful, will provide a marketing and sales arm to the brand, while co-founder Randy Lewis and president Dennis Bell will remain at the helm of operations, along with winemaker James McCeney.
"Randy and I have been seeking a compatible partner to maintain the quality and consistency of our wines while taking Lewis Cellars to the next level," Bell told Wine Spectator. "We've found that partner with Justin."
Lewis Cellars was founded in 1992 after Lewis put race-car driving in the rear-view mirror following a crash at the 1991 Indianapolis 500. Lewis and his wife, Debbie, founded the winery, with Lewis learning the winemaking craft from friend and fellow vintner Bob Miner at Oakville Ranch. Debbie focused on the business side, and her son Dennis Bell joined the family operation in 1999.
The small brand has an impressive track record of outstanding-rated Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. The Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 was Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year in 2016.