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E. & J. Gallo Winery and Accolade Wines acquire brands from Ascentia

June 5, 2012
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E. & J. Gallo Winery, Modesto, Calif., and Accolade Wines, Napa, Calif., both recently announced brand purchases from Healdsburg, Calif.-based Ascentia Wine Estates.

E. & J. Gallo announced the purchase of Washington state brands Columbia Winery and Covey Run Wine from Ascentia Wine Estates. E. & J.  Gallo purchased the two wine brands and took over operations of the Woodinville and Sunnyside facilities. Accolade Wines acquired Californian brand Geyser Peak and stablemates Atlas Peak and XYZin, together with their assets and inventory from Ascentia Wine Estates.

E. & J. Gallo's purchase marks its first expansion into Washington state. 

"We have been watching the Washington wine industry grow for a number of years and consider these wine brands to be a key part of our premium wine strategy moving forward,” said Roger Nabedian, senior vice president and general manager of Gallo's Premium Wine Division, in a statement. “This purchase will help us expand our footprint and offer our customers wines from the Columbia Valley and Yakima Valley Appellations." 

Demeter Group, a San Francisco-based investment bank for consumer retail companies, acted as Ascentia's exclusive financial adviser. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Accolade’s acquisition of Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak and XYZin will help spearhead the company’s growth in the United States, it said.

“I am delighted to welcome Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak and XYZin to the Accolade Wines family,” said Chief Executive Officer Troy Christensen, in a statement. “Their acquisition will allow us to leverage the expertise we already have in global distribution and innovation and help us to develop the opportunities we see emerging within the United States. Initially we see that there is tremendous opportunity within the U.S. to grow these brands, but we also have the capacity to fit them within the portfolio we are now marketing in Europe, the United Kingdom and the rapidly developing Asian markets, especially China.”

 As part of the deal, Accolade Wines will lease Geyser Peak’s iconic homestead, its winery, 98 acres of its Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard and the winery’s cellar door.

“These brands have a great deal of history and resonance within the California story,” said Tim Matz, Accolade Wines North America managing director. “This is a great opportunity to reinvigorate them with new investment.”

“Geyser Peak in the Alexander Valley has an outstanding reputation; it’s one of the most awarded wineries in Sonoma County and we will be exploring the opportunity to expand the higher end of the range while bringing new products to market,” he continued. “We see Geyser Peak homestead as the centerpiece of a range of outstanding experiential events that will help bring new luster to the shining Geyser Peak story.”

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