Vine Cliff Founders Sell Napa Winery


The owners of Napa Valley’s Vine Cliff Winery recently sold its winery in Oakville to the SCW Fund Corp., a business entity run by Canadian entrepreneur Stephan Crétier, who also owns the nearby Roy Estate. The sale price was not disclosed. The deal includes the winery, 23 acres of vineyards and all other business-related assets, including unplanted acreage and a house on the property.

Vine Cliff is among Napa’s historic properties. Initially established in 1871 on property formerly owned by George Young, parts of the stone winery still stands. From the early 1900s onward, the estate was unused until Nell and Chuck Sweeney purchased the property in 1985. Chuck, a well-known hotel chain founder, also later co-founded Aston Estate with Fred Schrader and Thomas Rivers Brown. Rivers Brown took full ownership in 2021.

During the Sweeneys’ time at Vine Cliff, they restored the first floor of the stone winery and built a modern winery surrounding it in 1995. The family produced outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon from the property, which lies in a desirable area in the eastern foothills of Oakville, not far from Dalla Valle and Oakville Ranch. The family also owned Chardonnay vineyards in Carneros. Annual total production was less than 5,000 cases. After the Sweeneys separated, Nell was the sole proprietress, and her son Rob was running operations. The Sweeneys declined to comment on the sale.

Stephan Crétier founded GardaWorld, a worldwide security provider based in Quebec, Canada, offering security services, integrated risk management, and cash solutions. Crétier and his wife, Stephanie, have been proprietors of the nearby Roy Estate since 2017.

Crétier could not be reached for comment. The future of Vine Cliff as a brand and what is planned for the property is unknown.

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