January 4, 2021




Walla Walla, Wash.– Two of Walla Walla’s leading family-owned and operated wineries jointly announce that Dennis Murphy, Owner and Winemaker at Caprio Cellars, reached an agreement to acquire ownership interest of Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars.


The negotiations to purchase the ownership interest of the Goff family started in the fall of 2020 and closed on December 31, 2020. This ownership interest acquisition includes both the Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Estate Vineyards, as well as the winery in Walla Walla, and  Tasting Rooms in Walla Walla, Woodinville and Vancouver, Washington.

"While bittersweet, after more than 20 years of ownership, Diana, Travis and I are excited to transition our partnerships in Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars to Dennis Murphy" said Ray Goff.  Goff continued, "Mr. Murphy’s Caprio Cellars has a  similar  family-owned and operated approach and has an established reputation for quality wine and exceptional hospitality.  I know we are leaving our employees, distributors, customers, the wineries’ brands and reputations in good hands.  Mr. Murphy, in partnership with the McKibben family and Pellet family are well positioned to shepherd these businesses forward in this dynamic industry.” 

For 25 years, Mr. Murphy, CEO of Hayden Homes, has been a home builder throughout the Northwest. Splitting his time between Bend, Oregon and Walla Walla, Washington has afforded him the pleasure of living in and around the finest wine-making regions in the Northwest. As a passionate wine lover, he watched Walla Walla officially affirm its place as one of the premier wine producing regions in the world, and was more than eager to become a part of its fast-emerging tradition while showcasing his passions for world class Bordeaux inspired wine, and honoring his family’s tradition and love for wine.

“I am honored to be a part of, and continue, the legacy of these important Walla Walla wineries,” said Dennis Murphy, Winemaker and Owner at Caprio Cellars. “Both Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars are leaders in quality winemaking with their innovative technology and vineyard development. Their commitment to the Walla Walla Valley has helped define it as the great wine region it is. I look forward to partnering with the McKibben’s and Pellet’s in this exciting new venture as we continue to build on their successes.”

This acquisition will allow for the future expansion and ongoing successes of these leading wine brands in the Walla Walla Valley. Mr. Murphy joins other Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars partners, Norm McKibben, Eric McKibben and Jean-Francois Pellet.


“Ray Goff has been a very important part of our history for over 20 years and was instrumental in creating the pioneering spirit that continues today with our dedication to crafting ultra-premium wines while building an enduring family business,” said the McKibben’s and Jean-Francois Pellet, partners at Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars. “We know Mr. Murphy exhibits the same pioneering spirit and passion for family traditions. We are excited to welcome him as a partner and look forward to new opportunities ahead.”




About Caprio:

Caprio founder and winemaker, Dennis Murphy, came to the Walla Walla valley over 20 years ago in search of a premier location to showcase his passion for world class Bordeaux inspired wines, while honoring his family’s tradition and love for wine. Caprio’s estate vineyards are in the heart of the Walla Walla Valley. Each site enjoys sun exposure and vine-loving soil, yielding grapes of the highest quality and complexity for our estate wines.


About Pepper Bridge Winery:

Pepper Bridge Winery represents the pioneering spirit of the Walla Walla Valley. Family owned and operated, the winery is a leader in quality winemaking, innovative technology and vineyard development. For over twenty years their hard work and dedication to the Walla Walla Valley has helped define it as one of the great wine regions of the world.


Pepper Bridge Winery produces Bordeaux-style wines from its mature estate vineyards. Winemaker Jean-François Pellet blends his unique viticultural and winemaking skills with science and art to create distinctive, terroir-driven wines with a focus on quality and commitment to sustainability. Using traditional winemaking techniques, 100% French oak and 100% estate fruit from the Walla Walla Valley AVA, Pepper Bridge wines are collectibles that showcase complexity, structure and balance. Combining old-world philosophy with modern innovation, the brand has become an industry leader in crafting ultra-premium wines.


About Amavi Cellars:

Amavi Cellars signifies love (amor) and life (vita) through our wines, which are 100% estate, 100% Certified Sustainable, and 100% Walla Walla Valley. We are dedicated to producing estate grown wines that showcase the distinct personality of this region.


Quality, hospitality and sustainability are our underlying values. Our estate vineyards: Les Collines, Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge, Octave, Goff, and Summit View, are farmed sustainably. We build up the soil’s health rather than deplete it and seek out earth-friendly alternatives to fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. We are committed to not only preserving, but also improving the land for future generations. And we insist on having a good time while we’re doing it all!

Please click Accept Cookies for the best experience.
You have successfully subscribed!