vendredi 11 avril 2014

Etats-Unis : Allan Brothers rachète Sagemoor Vinayards (Washington)

Tree fruit producer Allan Brothers is purchasing Sagemoor Vineyards, one of Washington's best known vineyard operations. The ownership change takes effect in late April.

Sagemoor is made up of four properties under common management: Sagemoor, Bacchus, Dionysus and Weinbau, and is diversified with 883 acres of winegrapes, 230 acres of cherries and 190 acres of apples. Vineyard-designated Sagemoor wines are made by many of Washington’s best-known producers, names such as Walla Walla Vintners, Tamarack Cellars, Barrister, Januik, Arbor Crest, Rasa Vineyards, Abeja and Hedges. Sagemoor has been supplying winegrapes since 1972. Wineries have built blends and brands from these properties as grapes from Sagemoor consistently produce high-scoring wines.

“It’s a benchmark, a large Washington vineyard exchanging hands,” commented Robert Nicholson of International Wine Associates. “It’s good that it’s going to a large family-owned agricultural business in Washington. It means the fruit will still be able to be bought by these high-end wineries in Washington, as opposed to going into corporate hands."

International Wine Associates of Healdsburg, California and The West One Group in Walla Walla served as exclusive advisors and represented Sagemoor in this transaction.

"We have been looking at the Washington winegrape business for some time now and when the opportunity came up to acquire the well known Sagemoor properties we recognized that this was the right way for Allan Brothers to enter Washington's dynamic wine business," Allan Brothers CEO Miles Kohl said in a news release.

Allan Brothers will keep the current management team—currently the operation employs about 120 people—and continue to work with small wineries. “We’ve seen the industry grow and that growth needed sourcing,” Sagemoor general manager Kent Waliser told “We went from 10 customers 15 years ago to 75 now because we embraced those boutique wineries. We want to continue to serve that growth. We want to maintain it and build on it. “

“My parting comment to winemakers is that if they see big changes that seem out of character with the way we’ve done business in the past, come talk to me,” Waliser said. “That’s not our intent.”

Allan Brothers has a long history in the Yakima Valley growing, packing and shipping tree fruit since the 1920's. The Sagemoor Vineyards acquisition will increase the company's holdings to 3,500 acres.

“This is the fourth significant transaction that International Wine Associates has completed in Washington since 2001,” said Nicholson. “With the sale of Sagemoor, we will have sold over $100 million in Washington wine industry deals in the last 12 years.”