Californian wine producer Brunton Vineyards has agreed a deal to buy Mendocino-based Jeriko Vineyards.

Brunton, a subsidiary of US-listed Brunton Vineyards Holdings, said it has signed a letter of intent to buy Jeriko in a deal worth US$16.5m.

Brunton said the deal would be one of "several" vineyard and winery properties it is targeting for acquisition.

President Brian McGonigle said: "Jeriko Vineyards is well known for its organic wines and this acquisition allows us to compete more effectively as a well rounded producer of different types of wine."

Jeriko produces 10,000 cases of wines a year, focusing on varietals including Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sangiovese.

Meanwhile, Brunton has named former Constellation Wines executive Chester Hutchinson as senior vice president for human resources.