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Submitted By: Lewis Perdue, March 17, 2010

Media Contact:

Tony Lombardi

Public Relations Director

(707) 473-2364

HEALDSBURG, CA (March 16, 2010) – Ascentia Wine Estates announces the hiring of Nick Goldschmidt as consulting winemaker for Atlas Peak. Goldschmidt brings an unparalleled level of esteem and winemaking experience. He is a mountain man, spending his career working with fruit from high elevation vineyards in Argentina, New Zealand and Spain.

“Nick brings a unique winemaking experience, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon with consistent endorsement of quality,” says Jim DeBonis, Ascentia Wine Estates Chief Executive Officer. “His prior experience on some of our other brands and his key relationships with our trade partners make him an incredible asset to our team.”

Nick Goldschmidt is one of the pioneering forces behind the Atlas Peak Mountain Cabernet Series. He believes that Napa Cabernet is a place of extremes, and that the four mountain appellations surrounding the Napa Valley are the pinnacle. Goldschmidt says: “I began this project in 2003 and I look forward to continuing to create wines of distinction for Atlas Peak. East vs. west and north vs. south means that these wines are uniquely different and can be measured under one label. With winemaking constant, only the extreme terroir of these rugged mountain vineyards will be revealed in the finished wine.”

Born and educated in New Zealand, Goldschmidt’s career began in 1982 as a researcher at the New Zealand Lincoln University where he graduated with Distinction in Horticulture. Goldschmidt went on to specialize in viticulture studies at Wagga Wagga, and oenology with the highly acclaimed Roseworthy program, at Adelaide University in South Australia. As a student, he worked at noted wineries such as Kumeu River, Coopers Creek and Babich. He went on to make wines in California, Australia and South America, including Calitera in Chile.

In 1990, Goldschmidt returned to California and joined Simi Winery as their Associate Winemaker, was promoted to Chief Winemaker in 1991 and became Vice President and Chief Winemaker in 1996. Goldschmidt spent a total of 13 years at Simi. He was one of the driving forces that brought the Simi Reserve Cabernet program to notoriety.

In May of 2003 Goldschmidt accepted the position of Executive Vice President and Winemaker at Allied Domecq Wines USA, and subsequently held the same position with Beam Wine Estates, before it was acquired by Constellation in 2007.

In 1998, Goldschmidt began making his own wine -- Goldschmidt Vineyards & Forefathers with small productions of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Since then, he has developed a stellar international client list; he is the winemaker for several renowned premium brands, including Boulder Bank, Chelsea Goldschmidt, Pampano, GiaDomella, Errazuriz, Sena and others.

“I enjoy the challenge of working with so many different vineyard sites and wines from around the world. My philosophy is to make the best wines possible with emphasis on the unique characteristics of each individual vineyard and to maximize the potential of each vintage in a balanced and focused style of winemaking,” says Goldschmidt.

Nick Goldschmidt lives in Healdsburg with his wife, Yolyn and their five children. When he is not busy traveling the wine world, he enjoys skiing and rugby league.

About Ascentia Wine Estates, LLC

Founded in 2008, Ascentia Wine Estates is an ultra-premium wine company that includes California’s, Washington’s and Idaho’s first wineries. The portfolio contains quality wines sourced from some of the world’s most prestigious appellations, such as Napa Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, Carneros, Washington’s Columbia Valley and Idaho’s Snake River Valley. The Company has 250 employees and is headquartered at 349 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA. For more information, please visit:

Ascentia Wine Estates, LLC

Atlas Peak - Buena Vista Carneros - Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery – Geyser Peak Winery - XYZin - Columbia Winery - Covey Run - Ste. Chapelle

About W.J. Deutsch: W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Ltd. was founded in 1981 by Chairman Bill Deutsch to market quality wines produced by prestigious families from major wine regions of the world. Deutsch’s wines and spirits are sold to the trade with well-planned marketing support and offered to U.S. consumers at fair market prices. Today the company is renowned for its brand building prowess and ability to meet the needs of the modern consumer. Bill’s son Peter Deutsch is CEO; thus two generations of the Deutsch family work side by side in their continuous quest to build strong brands and relationships throughout the wine and spirit industry.

The W.J. Deutsch & Sons portfolio includes award-winning wines from Australia: [yellow tail], [yellow tail] The Reserve, [yellow tail] Sparkling; California: Atlas Peak, Buena Vista Carneros, Esser Vineyards, Gary Farrell Vineyards and Winery, Geyser Peak, XYZin, Kunde Estate; France: Andre Lurton, Georges Duboeuf, Hob Nob Vineyards, Pierre Sparr, Sauvion et Fils, Vidal Fleury; Idaho: Ste Chapelle; Italy: Barone Fini, Castello di Monastero, Coldisole, Poggio alle Sughere, Lionello Marchesi, Villa Pozzi; New Zealand: The Crossings; Portugal: Quinta Do Vale Meao; Spain: Mar De Frades (Rias Baixas), Cruz de Alba (Ribera del Duero), Ramón Bilbao Vinos Y Vinedos (Rioja), and Volteo (Castilla); Washington: Columbia Winery, and Covey Run, and award-winning spirits from Landy Cognac (France) and Villa Massa (Italy).