The Boisset wine family of France and California's North Coast goes farther into the food culture of local Wine Country with the acquisition, announced Wednesday, of Oakville Grocery, as the stores in Healdsburg and Napa Valley were set to close.
Wine, retail and real estate entrepreneur Leslie Rudd, who purchased the store brand 11 years ago, died in May. The Rudd family had planned to wind down the grocery store that had been operating in the Napa Valley community by the same name for nearly 140 years.
“My family purchased it in 2007 in order to revive the illustrious historical store that has meant so much to this community," said his daughter Samantha Rudd in the announcement. "My father’s vision was to restore it to its rightful place in California wine country, and to ensure that its legacy remained for the local and tourist community for decades to come."
Boisset Collection, run by Jean-Charles Boisset and owner of wine brands such as Raymond, Buena Vista and DeLoach, purchased the Oakville Grocery brand, both stores and the Victorian house next to the Napa Valley location. The price wasn't disclosed.
“I have always adored the Oakville Grocery for what it represents for Napa Valley, for California and for America,” said Boisset in the announcement. Boisset acquired Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma, which started in 1857. “I have fond memories of visiting from France with my parents and sister when I was 11 years old. It is a landmark and iconic destination at the crossroads of history in Napa that has been the community gathering place, mercantile, farm stand, and grocery for neighbors and visitors alike for well over a century. The Rudd family have been remarkable stewards, believing in its past and future, and infusing the property with the passion, care and respect it deserves. We are exceptionally honored to be entrusted to carry forward this timeless property and continue their dreams.”
He plans to offer "fresh and local products from farmers, artisans and purveyors in Napa and Sonoma" counties. Boisset Collection plans to begin operating Oakville Grocery early next year.
Boisset Collection already has ventured into local boutique grocery. In 2016, it opened Atelier Fine Foods in Yountville.
Samantha Rudd, who runs Rudd Estate winery and Press Restaurant, said the sale of Oakville Grocery to Boisset Collection will allow her to focus on those businesses.
Earlier this year the Rudd family sold Distillery No. 209 to Santa Rosa-based Vintage Wine Estates, a venture Leslie Rudd had started with Pat Roney, who has grown the company into a major wine producer. In 2005, Rudd had opened the distillery on Pier 50 in San Francisco as a maker of craft gin and vodka.