The Egg Harbor, N.J., complex, which was started by a French vintner 150 years ago, is under an agreement of sale while the buyer examines financial details. Current owner Joseph Milza purchased the winery in 1977 and helped transform the property into a tourism destination, with the addition of a hotel in 2001, an 18-hole golf course in 2004, and two restaurants.
Renault Winery Resort & Golf, a complex started by a French vintner 150 years ago in Egg Harbor, N.J., is in the process of being sold to a New Jersey-based buyer, the Pleasantville (N.J.)-based Press of Atlantic City reported.
General Manager Paul Verdi said the resort is under an agreement of sale and the buyer is examining the financial and other details involved with the transaction. The buyer and the purchase price were not disclosed, the Press reported.
“We can’t make a formal announcement until the due diligence is done,” said Verdi. “We expect settlement in the first quarter.”
The facility is among the region’s largest non-casino employers. Current owner Joseph Milza, a former newspaper owner and publisher who purchased the winery in 1977, added substantially to the complex to turn it into a tourism destination, the Press reported.
Additions have included the 50-room Tuscany House hotel in 2001, the 18-hole Vineyard Golf in 2004, as well as the Gourmet Restaurant and Joseph’s Restaurant. Local officials credited Milza for his efforts recreating the facility and said they hope future owners share that vision, the Press reported.
“I would hope personally he would continue with what Mr. Milza’s dream has been—to build it into a beautiful resort area,” Egg Harbor City Councilwoman Hazel Mueller said. “We hope whoever buys it carries on his dream.”
Egg Harbor City Mayor Lisa Jiampetti said the hotel and the winery draw people from all over, the Press reported.
“Tuscany House was just woods, and he partnered with the city and we ran water and sewer out there and worked with him and his design,” she said. “It’s a fantastic place and it employs a lot of people in town.”
Renault is one of about 40 wineries in New Jersey, according to the Garden State Winegrowers Association. It is one of the oldest continuously operating wineries in the U.S., tracing its roots to Louis Nicholas Renault, who purchased property in the region in 1864, the Press reported.
For more than half of the 20th Century, John D’Agostino and family owned the winery, even producing during Prohibition under a government permit that allowed “Renault Wine Tonic” to be sold in drug stores. Universal Foods acquired the winery in 1968 and ran it until MCC Presidential, a New Jersey-based investment group, took ownership in 1974, the resort company said. Milza purchased it three years later, the Press reported.