Vintage Wine Estates (VWE), Santa Rosa, Calif., announced the purchase of its first fine wine brand from Oregon: Firesteed Cellars of the Willamette Valley.
Firesteed, a 50,000-case brand, is noted for its award-winning Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, Oregon’s signature varietal wines, the company says. The purchase comes on the heels of a robust and diverse acquisition streak during the past 24 months, which includes the following: Napa Valley’s Delectus Winery, Splinter Group Spirits, and, most recently, Cameron Hughes Wine. VWE also acquired the distribution rights to Clayhouse Wines from Paso Robles, Washington State’s Buried Cane and from Argentina, Gouguenheim Winery.
“I’m a long-time fan of Oregon wines and have been looking for an opportunity in the region for some time,” said Pat Roney, president and chief executive officer of VWE, in a statement. “I see the interest in wines from the Northwest continue to trend strongly and am thrilled to add Firesteed to our portfolio.”
VWE’s growth strategy consists of creating and bringing original, new brands to market, adding respected, established wines to its portfolio through acquisition and organic growth fueled by the company’s existing portfolio, which includes signature brands such as B.R. Cohn Winery, Clos Pegase, Swanson, Delectus, Windsor Vineyards and Middle Sister Wines, it says.
“This formula seems to be working well for us,” Roney said. “We have particular expertise in brand creation and taking new brands to market at a rapid pace. We also understand the importance of proven wine brands with a track record of excellence and awareness among both trade and consumers.”
Firesteed will continue to source fruit under lease agreements at Firesteed Estate Vineyard and Erratic Oaks Vineyard in nearby Dallas, Ore., both certified sustainably farmed.
Firesteed Founder Howard Rossbach will retain the Citation brand and the Erratic Oaks Vineyard. BI