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Published:  23 July, 2008

Beringer Blass Wine Estates, a division of the Foster's group, has bought Napa Valley-based Etude Wines from Tony Soter, the owner and winemaker at Etude. He will remain with the winery to further develop the brand, and all Etude employees will be retained. "In the last 20 years Tony has built Etude into one of the most highly respected wineries in California," said Beringer Blass managing director-elect Walt Klenz. "Etude's focus on ultra-premium Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon is an ideal complement to our existing portfolio of California wines. We're especially pleased that Tony has agreed to continue his role at the winery; throughout his career he's had an enormous influence on the California wine industry." Founded by Soter in 1982, Etude has developed collaborative relationships and long-term contracts with some of the best growers in Napa Valley and Carneros. "To me, this partnership represents the next great stage in the evolution of Etude Wines," said Soter. While continuing to work with its current portfolio of grower-partners, Etude will collaborate with Beringer Blass vineyard manager Bob Steinhauer to identify quality Pinot Noir blocks within Beringer's newly developed Benoist Vineyard in Carneros. "The Benoist Vineyard is the most exciting Pinot Noir project I've ever seen in Carneros," said Soter.