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Chester County Press

Longwood Gardens purchases Galer Estate

10/09/2023 01:36PM ● By Richard Gaw
Longwood Gardens has confirmed that it has purchased the Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery in Kennett Square. The venerable 7.4-acre estate on 700 Folly Hill Road is adjacent to the northern reaches of the Longwood property, and served as one of the most popular vineyards in a county that has for the past several years continued to make its mark as one of the premiere wine-producing destinations in the Mid-Atlantic Region. From the time they purchased the estate in 2011, former owners Brad and Lele Galer and winemakers like John Levenberg and Virginia Mitchell cultivated a rustic and welcome tasting room that offered stunning views of the area while also earning high praise for its Cabernet Franc, dry Rosé and Sparkling Chardonnay. Producing an average of 2,800 cases a year, Galer earned over 150 awards at national and international competitions. Earlier this year, the Galers listed the property for sale for an asking price of $3.395 million, which included a four-acre vineyard; tasting rooms areas; state-of-the-art winemaking technology with temperature-controlled stainless steel fermentation tanks and a temperature-controlled barrel room; a garage; an event room with a fireplace; and a residence that was first built in 1700s. The acqusition of the Galer Estate and Winery represents the second major purchase for Longwood Gardens in 2023. In February, it entered into a binding agreement with Granogue Reserve, LTD., LLC to operate Granogue, the 505-acre estate and long-time residence of the late Mr. and Mrs. Irénée du Pont, Jr. located in New Castle County, Del. The agreement is based on a plan that was worked on jointly between Longwood Gardens, The Conservation Fund, and Granogue Reserve over several years and includes all land and buildings. The property sits in a critical location for the ongoing conservation in the regional landscape, and is one of the last remaining pieces of unprotected open space in the Brandywine River Corridor with large sections of farmland, forest, pasture, and meadow. These purchases serve as a compliment to Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden Experience, Longwood’s sweeping reimagination of 17 acres of its conservatory and grounds that is expected to open in the fall of 2024. Based on a master plan developed in 2010, the project includes the construction of the West Conservatory, a new 32,000-square-foot glass facility; the relocation of the Cascade Garden to a 3,800-square-foot glass structure; a new outdoor Bonsai Courtyard, built alongside the West Conservatory; an enhanced waterlily Court; a new restaurant and event spaces; and the construction of a new education and administration building with a state-of-the-art library and classrooms.