Beaulieu Vineyard plans to create a winemaking facility dedicated solely to producing its flagship wine.

The Diageo-owned company said on Friday (19 October) that it shall invest US$7m in the new project to make the Napa Valley wine Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The new facilities are planned to be set within an existing building at the BV winery.

Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines president Ray Chadwick said: "The new Georges de Latour Private Reserve winery should allow even greater focus and attention to quality for a wine that has long set the standard for Napa Valley."

Beaulieu Vineyard vice president of winemaking Joel Aiken added: "One of the winery's guiding principles, from founder Georges de Latour to Andre Tchelistcheff, is to continue to innovate and look for new ways to make great wine. This investment is an important step forward and will allow us to carry on making wines of unique expression and balance.

"We've tried a number of different winemaking techniques in recent years, including barrel fermentations and long, extended macerations, and we've been very happy with the results," "We wanted to implement those experiments on a grander scale and the dedicated winery is a way of achieving that goal."

The project is set to be completed in time for the 2008 harvest, with the addition of a private trade tasting room to follow in spring 2009.