Healdsburg’s Banshee Wines finds peace from deal with billionaire wine owner Bill Foley

Mar 12, 2018

(PD) - Baron Ziegler was at a crossroads a few years ago.

His Healdsburg-based Banshee Wines had gained a significant following — largely among younger customers — with a premium pinot noir priced well below other competitors. And he had the hippest tasting room in the city, with a Generation X-inspired lounge complete with a record player for vinyl albums and worn leather sofas for guests to relax.

But Ziegler could not escape the economics of the wine business. He operates a “virtual winery,” purchasing his grapes on contract with Sonoma County growers and using custom crush facilities for his winemaking. In addition, wholesale consolidation makes it harder for smaller wineries, like his, to get noticed in the marketplace even though Banshee had 20 percent annual growth rates. It produced 50,000 cases in 2017.

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