The Carlton Winemakers Studio Purchased by Local Forest Products Company, Hampton Lumber
Carlton, OR, August 26, 2021 - Hampton Lumber, owners of Fennwood Vineyard and Tall Tree Vineyard, have signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Carlton Winemakers Studio, an innovative Alternating Proprietorship winery with an on-site tasting room located in downtown Carlton, OR.
Hampton Lumber is a fourth-generation, family-owned business headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The focus of Hampton’s business operations will remain forestland and lumber production, however the Hampton family is excited about their expansion into the winemaking business. In 2016, Hampton diversified its business by planting its first vineyard, Tall Tree, just outside of Monmouth, Oregon. Hampton acquired Fennwood Vineyard two years later. These properties produce quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes for winemakers throughout the region. The Carlton Winemakers Studio marks the Hampton family’s first venture into the winemaking industry.
Located in the heart of the esteemed Yamhill-Carlton AVA, The Studio was the first Alternating Proprietorship winery in Oregon, pioneering a business model built upon the vision of noted Winemaker Eric Hamacher. Hamacher saw a need for a space where small wineries could maintain independence while taking advantage of a collaborative community under one roof, sharing equipment and expertise. This innovative model lowers the entry cost for start-up wineries and launched many of Oregon’s most successful brands including Penner-Ash, Ayoub, Brittan, Soter, Résonance, Hamacher, and Failla Oregon. Current tenants include OO, Andrew Rich, Lavinia, RR, among others.
The Studio was founded by four partners, Eric Hamacher and his wife Luisa Ponzi along with Ned and Kirsten Lumpkin. The Lumpkins’ experience as builders paired well with Ponzi and Hamacher’s winemaking experience, and The Studio was opened in 2002 as the first winery facility in the U.S. to be registered and built following the US Green Building Council’s LEED construction code. Its sleek and contemporary on-site tasting room recently received national acclaim from the New York Times as Oregon’s best tasting room.
The Hamptons plan to continue The Studio under the same business model with the same tenant wineries and have retained longtime General Manager and noted winemaker Anthony King to continue overseeing the operations of The Studio.
“Winemakers working together to produce quality wine is an authentic and personal way to go about business and we aim to maintain that,” said co-owner, Jamey Hampton. “We have great respect for Anthony King and his team. They have built a great reputation and we look forward to their continued leadership.”
“I’m very proud that we were able to create this unique communal winemaking space that allowed small, quality minded winemakers to launch their dream of entering the wine industry in the Willamette Valley. It’s with great pleasure that we are now able to pass it along to another family who shares that same vision,” said Eric Hamacher.
“Given the incredible impact The Studio has had on the Willamette Valley wine industry, the founders were looking to pass the baton to someone who shared their vision and would continue to honor The Studio’s legacy,” said Erik McLaughlin, CEO of METIS, the firm who advised on the transaction. “We knew Hampton Lumber had been looking for a unique way to expand their role in the wine industry and The Studio was a perfect fit for them.”
“This region is known for its forest products and exceptional wine, and we’re thrilled to be involved in both,” said co-owner David Hampton. “Vineyard management and winemaking are natural extensions of our family’s commitment to growing and crafting sustainable quality products right here at home.”
Luisa and Eric will continue to be deeply immersed in the Oregon Wine Industry through directing the winemaking at Ponzi Vineyards & Hamacher Wines, ownership and management of Hamacher Wines, and farming over 100 acres of family-owned vineyards in the Laurelwood District AVA.
Ned and Kirsten will continue their vineyard and wine brand, Lazy River. “Working with Eric and Luisa on The Studio brought immeasurable expertise to this project,” said Kirsten Lumpkin. “We so enjoyed watching The Studio’s clients as they work in a collegial environment and gain respect from the wine loving public. It will be fun to watch the Hampton iterations of The Studio in the future.”
About The Carlton Winemakers Studio
The Carlton Winemakers Studio is a 27,000-case winery production facility located in downtown Carlton, Oregon and the first Alternating Proprietorship winery in the state. Built on the vision of Eric Hamacher, who lobbied the Oregon Legislature in the late 1990s to pass laws legalizing Alternating Proprietorships, The Studio opened its doors in 2002. The Studio created a place where winemakers could remain independent, but work collaboratively under one roof sharing equipment, staffing, and expertise. Founded and owned by Eric Hamacher, Luisa Ponzi, and Ned and Kirsten Lumpkin, The Studio is the first wine making facility in the US to be registered and built following the US Green Building Council’s LEED construction code. The Studio also has a sleek, modern onsite tasting room where visitors can taste a variety of different wines made by The Studio’s tenant and founder wineries.
About Hampton Lumber
Hampton Lumber is a fourth-generation, family-owned company based in Portland, Oregon. With nearly 80 years in the business, Hampton is a global leader, supplying quality wood products for communities near and far. With over 1,700 employees, Hampton operates ten sawmills in Western Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia and is committed to sustainable forestland stewardship in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Hampton also owns Tall Tree Vineyard and Fennwood Vineyard, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. For more information about Hampton Lumber visit www.hamptonlumber.com.
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 www.metisnw.com.
For more information about this or any other transaction, please contact the Metis team:
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