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USA: Chalone Wine Group and Rabobank International Finalize Private Placement Offering of 30 Million Dollars In Unsecured Financing

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Chalone Wine Group announced completion of its private placement offering of 30 million dollars in long term unsecured financing. The deal was finalized on September 15, 2000.

Rabobank International acted as agent on the placement to Agstar Financial Services, PCA and Farm Credit Services of America, PCA. The loans are structured into three pieces with a blended rate of 8.835% with a term of ten years.

"The placement of this long term debt allows us to lock in our costs for our recent Napa Valley vineyard acquisitions, the Hewitt and Suscol Creek vineyards and our purchase of the Jet Ranch property in Washington State," said Thomas B. Selfridge President and CEO of Chalone Wine Group.

"We have structured the placement to be interest only until 2004. This will allow us to coordinate the start of the principal payments with the start of the revenue generated by the release of the wines grown on the Napa Valley properties," said Paul Ogorzelec Chief Financial Officer of the Chalone Wine Group.

"We believe this is a significant step that will support our long term growth plans. It also demonstrates a level of financial sophistication that is normally associated with larger companies," said Tom Selfridge.

Chalone Wine Group, Ltd. (Nasdaq:CHLN), "the Company," is a Napa-based company specializing in premium white and red varietal wines. In California, the Company owns and operates Chalone Vineyard in Monterey County, Acacia Winery in the Carneros District of Napa County, and Carmenet Vineyard in Sonoma County. In conjunction with its 50 percent joint-venture partner, Paragon Vineyard Co., the Company also owns and operates Edna Valley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo County. Additionally, the Company produces and markets wines of Central Coast appellation under the brand name Echelon Vineyards. In the state of Washington, the Company owns and operates Sagelands Vineyard (formerly Staton Hills) and is a 50.5 percent managing partner in Canoe Ridge Vineyard. In the Bordeaux region of France, the Company owns 23.5 percent of the fourth-growth estate of Chateau Duhart-Milon, in partnership with Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), which owns the other 76.5 percent.

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