In the past, mostly in emerging wine countries, there have been accusations of vintners “watering down” their bottlings in order to generate more product and increase their profits.
Such swill is easily identified, however, and it’s a practice that a winery generally gets away with just once – if it gets away with it at all.
All of which has absolutely nothing to do with the news that Justin Vineyards and Winery, one of the most honored wine estates in California’s Central Coast region, has been purchased by Fiji Water.
In fact, one of the things that the new owners made clear in announcing the deal was that the original owners – Justin and Deborah Baldwin – will continue to oversee day-to-day operations and assist in marketing the brand.
Justin makes a number of outstanding bottlings, but is best known for its Bordeaux-style red blend known as “Isosceles.” The estate is home to a 65-acre vineyard, a small B&B and an even smaller gourmet restaurant.
Justin Baldwin is a former investment banker, so it’s presumed that the deal was made, at least in part, to assist in the family’s transition to their retirement years. Meanwhile, they say that they’re very happy that the deal allows them to continue to work at the winery that they built into one of the Paso Robles area’s must-see estates.
Fiji is a leading importer of bottled water.