Abeja owners sell majority interest

Walla Walla, Wash.—Ken and Ginger Harrison, founders of the Abeja winery and inn, have sold a majority interest in the company to two ownership groups: Arnie Prentice of Seattle’s USI Kibble & Prentice and John Oppenheimer, founder and CEO of Seattle-based Columbia Hospitality.

According to a statement announcing the deal, the Harrisons will retain significant equity ownership in the continued operations of the winery and will be actively involved in the oversight of the winery. The couple willl also participate in the ownership of the inn through a separate limited-liability corporation. Oppenheimer has become majority owner of the inn and Columbia Hospitality will oversee management and operations on behalf of the new owners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Winemakers Daniel Wampfler and Amy Alvarez-Wampfler will continue to oversee winemaking operations. “Meticulous attention to detail from vine to cellar to bottle has always defined Abeja wines,” said Ken Harrison in a press release. “Separating operations of the winery and the inn will allow us to sharpen our focus on the wines and continue our mission of delivering the highest quality product.”

Under the new ownership agreement, the winery will retain control of its estate vineyards and will continue to produce its Heather Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as other limited release, estate-grown wines.

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