VINTNERS: They Will Sell No Wine

They Will Sell No Wine

For 107 years the Christian Brothers, a Catholic order of teachers, have financed their spiritual good works by producing California brandy and table wines. Last week, after months of soul searching, the Brothers announced that bottled spirits no longer fit into their plans. The company will sell its $100 million-a-year wine-and-brandy business and 1,160 acres of prime vineyards to Heublein, a subsidiary of London-based Grand Metropolitan, for an undisclosed amount, perhaps as much as $150 million. Heublein, which owns California's Inglenook vineyard but has no major brandy label of its own, would thus become the largest vintner (1,940 acres) in the...

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