Faiveley Acquires Williams Selyem in Sonoma

The Burgundian family deepens its commitment to the Pinot specialist Williams Selyem from Sonoma.

Reading time: 1m

(Photo: gustavofrazao/stock.adobe.com)
(Photo: gustavofrazao/stock.adobe.com)

After acquiring a minority stake in the Californian winery Williams Selyem at the beginning of 2021, the Faiveley family from Burgundy has now acquired the majority. The previous owners, John and Kathe Dyson, will remain involved with a minority stake. John Dyson will also serve as CEO for at least the next three years. There will be no changes to the team responsible for the wines, including cellar master Jeff Mangahas.

According to a report by Wine Spectator, the Dysons had been looking for successors for some time but had not found anyone they believed could adequately continue the legacy of founders Burt Williams and Ed Selyem. However, the Dysons felt a connection with the Faiveley family, one of the largest producers in Burgundy (with approximately 130 ha/320ac  with an additional negociant business). The minority stake was initially intended as a trial to assess how well the partners would work together, evidently with success.

Erwan Faiveley, head of the family business in its seventh generation, told the local newspaper DijonBeaune during the acquisition of the minority stake: "We have a long-standing friendship and history with the USA, a passion for their wines and their people. As Burgundians, we wanted to cultivate the best Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in the country. We are delighted and proud that John and Kathe Dyson have placed their trust in us."

Williams Selyem was founded in 1979 as a garage winery in the Russian River subregion of the Sonoma Valley when few believed that high-quality Pinot Noirs could be produced in California. Today, the production amounts to approximately 360,000 bottles, with 288,000 bottles being Pinot Noir. Since the Faiveley family's involvement, the quantity has increased. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Insights Wine

The wines from British Columbia have a limited presence in markets overseas. The reasons behind this are not only high prices but also a lack of interest from producers in exporting. The local market recognizes the quality and diversity. Jürgen Mathäß investigates first hand.

Reading time: 5m 30s



Latest Articles