Vintner Brion Wise Acquires Mark Herold Wines

Famed Cabernet winemaker just sold his second Napa winery—but this time it’s different
By Jess Lander,  The San Francisco Chronicle, May 16, 2023

This month, Herold sold the Cabernet Sauvignon-focused Mark Herold Wines to a client of 13 years, Brion Wise. Wise owns two eponymous wine brands, B. Wise Vineyards in Sonoma and Brion, a premium, single vineyard Cabernet label in Napa; Herold, a sought-after winemaking consultant in the Bay Area, works with both. A prolific investor across several industries, Wise also has an ownership stake in 400 acres of premium Napa Valley vineyard land in top subregions like Oakville and Coombsville.


Mark Herold, winemaker (left) with Brion Wise, Vintner
Mark Herold, winemaker (left) with Brion Wise, Vintner

Herold called the deal “a perfect marriage” that allows him to stay on as winemaker and the face of the brand.

His continued involvement was “critical” in Wise’s decision to purchase. “If it were just a brand, I probably wouldn’t do it,” said Wise. “I know it’s going to be handled properly and done right because he’s the guy behind it.”

It’s an opportunity for Herold to focus on artistry and transition away from the administration side of the business. But he said his alliance with Wise will also help improve the quality of his wines, which include Mastodon, a $750 large format bottling of Oakville Cabernet.

“Brion has things I don’t — vineyards, a winery — and in order for Mark Herold Wines to grow further, these things are indispensable,” said Herold. “Some vineyards he has access to, I could never access. They’re very high quality and very expensive.”

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