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CUPERTINO, Calif. — The Japanese drug maker Otsuka markets chemotherapies for leukemia, antidepressants for schizophrenia, and a pill that can alert your doctor when you swallow it. It also grows grapes and sells cabernet sauvignon.

Here in the upper reaches of the sun-kissed mountains just south of Stanford, you can find perhaps the oddest outpost of a powerful pharma company’s global operations: an upscale winery where weathered wooden signs warn tipsy tourists to “beware of rattlesnakes” just steps from the tasting room.


Otsuka bought Ridge Vineyards in 1986 — the main explanation seems to be that the drug maker’s chairman at the time loved a good Bordeaux and has held onto the investment ever since.

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