A timeline of the building blocks of the society
The road to the creation of the Foley Food and Wine Society has been paved with good timing and excellent acquisitions. When Bill Foley purchased his first winery in 1996, little did he know that one winery beget many others... A golf course or two, a cattle ranch or a ski resort in Montana.
Bill Foley’s excellent business acumen and instinct, combined with strong cash flow and management of holdings ensures that the growth and improvement of these properties, done with great consideration for the land, will continue to thrive.
1996: The first step was the acquisition of Lincourt Vineyards. Today, Lincourt is one of the regions most important producers. Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery was also founded. Located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Soon after, he acquired Las Hermanas Vineyard formerly known as Ashley's Vineyard providing a source for high-quality fruit. Since then, Foley Estates has garnered a reputation as a top premier producer of luxury-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
2004: After a lengthy search for a ranch in the area, Bill purchased Rock Creek Cattle Company Montana, a sweeping 30,000 acre historic, working cattle ranch offering all manner of western-style activities. The world-class 18 hole Golf Course, voted “Best Private Residential Course” for 2012 in the US, was developed soon afterwards.
2007: Bill buys Firestone Vineyard. Long considered a top destination for visitors to Santa Barbara County, Firestone is a noteworthy producer of Bordeaux, Rhone and Burgundian varietal wines. The winery's success is attributable to the 400 acres of estate vineyards surrounding the winery and the strong winemaking and farming teams.
Also in 2007, was the purchase of Whitefish Mountain Resort, in Montana. Originally called Big Mountain, this 3,000 acre, four-season playground is located in Whitefish, Montana where Bill also added other acquisitions.
2008: The purchase of Merus added one of Napa Valley's most coveted "cult Cabernet producers" to the Foley Family Wines portfolio. Merus is famous for its limited production, handmade wines vinified from fruit grown in the Coombsville AVA of Napa.
The addition of Three Rivers Winery in 2008 expanded the Foley Family Wines portfolio into the Pacific Northwest. Located in Walla Walla, Washington, Three Rivers Winery is celebrated for its distinctive Bordeaux- and Rhone-style reds and highly aromatic Rieslings.
2009: The acquisition of Sonoma County's Sebastiani Vineyards added one of California's most historic and important brands to the FFW portfolio. This pioneering winery, founded in 1904, produces a range of wines from the county's top AVAs including Sonoma Valley, Carneros, Alexander Valley and the Russian River Valley.
A partnership with restaurateur and vintner Pat Kuleto brought Kuleto Estate into the group. This remote and beautiful property is renowned for its Cabernets and other intense reds. The property harvests all of its fruit from the estate vineyards surrounding the winery high in the mountains of eastern Napa.
Foley Family Wines also ventured offshore with the purchase of the New Zealand Wine Trust. The deal included 247 acres of vineyards in the heart of Marlborough, production facilities and a number of brands including Vavasour, Goldwater, Clifford Bay and Dashwood.
2010: Foley added one of California’s premier Sonoma county properties to the portfolio: Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery. Founded in 1972, this nearly 1,300-acre estate features nearly 300 acres of vineyards, a winery, hospitality center, culinary garden, residence, stables, equestrian pavilion, sports fields, fishing and swimming ponds, guest houses and wilderness areas. The winery makes limited quantities of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, as well as Estate Red, a proprietary Bordeaux blend.
Additionally, the acquisition of Eos Estate Winery extended the Foley Family Wines portfolio to the important emerging viticultural area of Paso Robles.
2011: Bill expanded FFW’s New Zealand interests to the north island with the addition of Te Kairanga, one of Martinborough’s oldest wineries. In total, the Te Kairanga purchase added approximately 250 acres of superb vineyard land to the Foley collection.
2012: Foley Family Wines launched Foley Johnson, a Napa Valley luxury-class winery located on Highway 29 in Rutherford, California. Formerly Sawyer Winery, Foley Johnson produces two tiers of luxury-class wines: the Napa tier is sourced primarily from 50 acres of estate vineyards and the Handmade tier features special small-lot bottlings from a number of FFWs’ other winemakers including Camille Benitah of Merus, Dave Lattin of Kuleto and Lisa Bishop Forbes of Chalk Hill.
Bill also added the iconic Lancaster Estate to the FFW portfolio. Lancaster Estate boasts nearly 50 acres of estate vineyards in the Alexander Valley, micro-farmed for maximum quality and accuracy. The winery and tasting room are situated in a gorgeous, ivy-covered building designed by architect Eugene Silva. A labyrinth of dark, cool caves carved into the adjacent hillside are used for winemaking and barrel storage. The purchase also includes the Roth brand, the lovely 6,000 square foot Lancaster Proprietor's House and a smaller guest cottage.
The historic Langtry Estate and Langtry House in Guenoc Valley, California, are also now under the Foley mantle as of 2012. With its 23,000 acres of pristine parkland, vineyards, lakes and streams, Langtry’s rich history dates back to 1888 when British actress Lillie Langtry purchased this sweeping Lake County property to serve as home for her winery.
Essence of Cabernet
Discover the essence of Kuleto Cabernet as you taste through five unique bottlings. For reservations, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Historical Vines & Wine Vineyard Tour & Tasting
The journey visits our historical Mission Vineyard and continues with a tasting of our reserve wines and a discussion of the history and viticulture of Sonoma County. email@example.com. Offered seasonally Apr. - Oct.
Winemaking Tour & Tasting
Taste six wines and tour the Langtry Estate production facility. For reservations, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Foley Estate - Featured
Delicate aromas of violets, bright cranberry fruit, hints of sweet dried blueberries and dusty cedar. True to the character of this Pinot Noir, flavors of tart raspberry and red plum are supported by bold mid palate tannin.
Sebastiani's Rich History
Discover the history of this Sonoma winemaking icon.
Welcome to the Society
Bill Foley discusses his vision for the Foley Food and Wine Society.
Join the Connoisseur Club
Take this relationship to the next level. Sign up for the Connoisseur Wine Club and receive premium wines shipped to your door and so much more.