Liquor company, Brown-Forman Corporation has completed the strategic review of its Hopland, California-based wine assets. As a result, Brown-Forman has agreed to sell Fetzer Vineyards to Chilean wine producer Vina Concha y Toro S.A. for $238 million.
Founded in 1968, Fetzer has been recognized consistently as a leader in varietal wine development, sustainable agriculture, and as an environmental leader. When Brown-Forman bought Fetzer in 1992 from its founding family, Fetzer was selling nearly 2 million cases a year of wine. By 2010, the division was selling more than 3 million cases. Brown-Forman’s brands include Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Southern Comfort and Finlandia vodka.
Founded in 1883, Vina Concha y Toro S.A. is Latin America’s leading producer and occupies an outstanding position among the world’s most important wine companies, currently exporting to 135 countries worldwide. Uniquely, it owns around 9,500 hectares of prime vineyards, which allows the company to secure the highest quality grapes for its wine production. Concha y Toro’s portfolio includes a wide range of successful brands at every price point, from the top of the range Don Melchor and Almaviva to the flagship brand Casillero del Diablo and innovative stand-alone brands such as Palo Alto and Maycas del Limarí.
Included in this sale of Fetzer Vineyards are the Fetzer winery, bottling facility, and vineyards, as well as the Fetzer brand and other Hopland, California-based wines, including Bonterra, Little Black Dress, Jekel, Five Rivers, Bel Arbor, Coldwater Creek, and Sanctuary. Also included in the sale is a facility in Paso Robles, California. The fiscal 2010 net sales contribution from these assets was $156 million, including excise taxes. The key facilities are located in Hopland, California and employ approximately 240 people. The sale does not include the super-premium Sonoma-Cutrer brand or the company’s long-term agency relationship with Korbel California Champagnes.