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METIS Advises on the Sale of Basel Cellars Estate Winery and Resort Property

January 5th, 2021, Walla Walla, Washington. METIS, the premier M&A advisory firm in the Pacific Northwest focused on the global adult beverage and hospital industries, today announced it has advised Walla Walla based Basel Cellars Estate on a transaction concerning the sale of Basel Cellars encompassing the winery, vineyard, brand, inventory, equipment, and all real property, including the on-site Estate Resort and Event Facilities.


A new ownership group includes Walla Walla residents and business owners Dan Thiessen, Paul Mackay, and Philip Christofides of the Walla Walla Steak Company and Crossbuck Brewing. Chad Mackay of Fire & Vine Hospitality, and Scott Clark, principal at Clark Property Development, round out the leadership team. This new group will continue to operate Basel Cellars Estate as an exceptional wine country lodging and event location while developing plans for further winery and hospitality expansion on the property. 


Owners Steve and Jo Marie Hansen of Vancouver, WA became partners at Basel Cellars in 2004 and have been the sole owners since 2011. The Hansen’s have meticulously cared for the 83-acre estate, including 27 acres of mature vineyard, a full winery production facility and cellar, on-site tasting room, an eight-bedroom vacation rental, a two-bedroom cabana, and incomparable grounds for hosting weddings and private events. 


“Our property was unique, and we are pleased with the way Erik McLaughlin and the entire team at Metis handled representing us,” said Steve and Jo Marie Hansen. “There were many moving pieces in a complex closing and the team at Metis worked hard to pull it all together. Each step of the way they were communicative with us and the buyer, always keeping us informed in a timely manner. We appreciated Metis’ deep knowledge of this niche wine and hospitality industry, and the integrity they showed working with us.”


“Basel Cellars Estate is one of the most physically stunning winery and vineyard properties in the Northwest, and we knew the key would be finding a buyer with not just the resources, but the skill and vision to successfully build upon the foundation laid by the Hansens, while more fully leveraging the unique potential of the property,” said Erik McLaughlin, CEO of METIS. “The investment group, based in Walla Walla and led by Dan, Paul, Philip, Scott, and Chad brings decades of regional hospitality know-how to a hometown project.  They know Walla Walla’s tourism potential as well as the needs of the local community.  Their exceptional collective background in hospitality and food and beverage development will make them excellent stewards of Basel Cellars Estate and the legacy of Steve and Jo Marie. Their vision for the future of Basel Cellars is exciting, and we look forward to seeing them bring that vision to life.”


“We want to thank Steve and Jo Marie Hansen for their contribution to our community as an exemplary employer and in the meticulous maintenance of an iconic and treasured estate,” said Dan Thiessen, managing partner.  “The Basel Cellars Estate is an exceptional destination location for weddings, events and family getaways and our team looks forward to continuing that tradition and expanding on the possibilities with an enhanced culinary program and events around the property.”

About Basel Cellars

Basel Cellars is perched atop a prominent hill in Walla Walla’s “Southside” winery district and is surrounded by its estate vineyards and features sweeping views of the Blue Mountains. Originally built in 1997 as a private residence, the Estate House at Basel Cellars was the finest home in the Walla Walla valley. The property was acquired in 2002 and converted into an estate winery, vineyard, luxury vacation rental, and event venue.

About the Buyers

The new leadership team has decades of experience in development, food and beverage concepts and operations, hotel and resort operations, design, and construction, as well as farming and ranching.

  • Dan Thiessen, Managing partner of Walla Walla Steak Company and Crossbuck


  • Chad Mackay, CEO, Fire & Vine Hospitality

  • Scott Clark: Principal, Clark Property Development

  • Philip Christofides, Partner and architect for Walla Walla Steak Company and Crossbuck Brewing

       Paul Mackay, Partner for Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing and founder of El Gaucho Hospitality


METIS is the premier mergers and acquisitions advisory firm in the Pacific Northwest focused on the global adult beverage and hospitality industries. METIS (and its antecedent company) have been advising privately held businesses on capital transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and recapitalizations for over 30 years.  For more information about METIS, please visit


For more information about this or any other transaction, please contact the Metis team:


Erik McLaughlin

CEO & Managing Partner

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