SANTA ROSA, CA. – June 1, 2023 – The Jackson family has formed a strategic partnership with Ensemble Investments, LLC (Ensemble), a leading developer, owner and operator of luxury hotels and commercial real estate, to purchase Vintners Resort – an intimate, four-diamond California certified green resort on a vineyard estate – from its founders, the Carano family.
“After 23 years, it is time for me to step back and smell the roses. I feel very fortunate that our family will be able to pass the torch to another well-respected Sonoma County team,” says Rhonda Carano. “I welcome the Jackson family and Ensemble, and I have no doubt they will continue to build on the legacy of Vintners Resort and move forward with new and exciting developments.”
Vintners Resort, established in 1984, is one of the first luxury resorts on a working vineyard in Sonoma County. The acquisition includes the entire 92-acre estate property, including Vintners Resort and Spa, conference meeting and event spaces, John Ash & Co. restaurant, River Vine restaurant, vibrant flower and culinary gardens, fig and olive orchards, and the estate vineyards.
“The Vintners Resort has special meaning to our family. We have known the Carano family for a long time, and we’ve celebrated many family meals and milestones at John Ash & Co restaurant,” says Barbara Banke, Proprietor and Chairman of Jackson Family Wines. “Vintners Resort has been a symbol of wine country luxury and local sustainability in Sonoma County for many years. It’s a central hub within our Russian River Valley winemaking community and we look forward to collaborating with Ensemble to enhance its reputation as a premiere, world-class wine country destination.”
Surrounded by the scenic Northern California landscape, lush vineyards, and beautifully landscaped grounds with courtyards and fountains, Vintner’s Resort’s deluxe guest rooms provide an elegant retreat from which to enjoy a wide array of activities and adventures available at the resort and throughout wine country.
“We have long admired and enjoyed spending time in the Sonoma region and have desired to own and manage a resort here for many years,” said Michael Moskowitz, CEO of Ensemble. “We have been searching for the right opportunity, where we can contribute our development and management expertise, and there’s no doubt this is it. This partnership and acquisition are strategic outgrowths of the success of Bernardus, our luxury hotel in Carmel Valley, and our portfolio of highly individualized hotels.”
John Ash & Co. is considered one the first and finest farm-to-table restaurants in the region with its focus on local fresh ingredients. This inspiring cuisine has helped to shape this culinary movement over the past several decades – placing the Vintners Resort and Chef John Ash on the global stage and establishing a major culinary destination.
The day-to-day management and operations of Vintners Resort will be handled by Ensemble under the direction of Kristi Allen, Executive Vice President of Hotels, with Brian Sommer continuing in his current role as General Manager. Ensemble will work side-by-side with the Jackson family on the long-term strategic vision, including design and/or facility upgrades, new experiential offerings, and the branding and positioning of the property.
Many employees have a long tenure with the Resort and both the Jackson family and Ensemble will prioritize its family culture and workforce longevity. The acquisition closes on May 31, 2023, with Poppy Bank acting as community bank providing financing.
Throughout the past forty years, the Jackson family has changed the landscape of wine with a multi-generational vision shaped by a commitment to quality, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Based in Sonoma County, their Jackson Family Wines business has grown to include 40 wineries and a stable of world class estate vineyards. Many of the family’s most beloved wineries are in Sonoma County, including Kendall-Jackson, La Crema, Stonestreet, Hartford Family Winery, Verité, Matanzas Creek, Copain, among others. The family has long implemented progressive programs to enhance their employees’ wellbeing and supported their local communities where they live and do business. The Jackson family and the previous owners, the Carano family, have been members of the Sonoma County vintner community for decades, both families advocating for and supporting the local vintner and tourism community to build awareness for Sonoma County and make it a major wine country destination. The Jackson’s are firmly rooted in this region and the purchase of Vintners Resort in partnership with Ensemble reinforces their continued commitment to elevate Sonoma County as a premier food and wine destination.
Ensemble was founded in 1989, and two of the original founders, Kam Babaoff and Michael Moskowitz, remain active leading the company today. During the last three decades, Ensemble has established a diverse portfolio of hotel, life science, office, retail and mixed-use assets, solidifying their reputation as a dynamic developer, investor and operator. While the company has grown over the decades, it remains consistent within its core values, focused on people. Ensemble is headquartered in Long Beach, CA, with offices in Phoenix and Philadelphia.