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Family-owned Vintage Wine Estates acquires yet another prominent family-owned winery: Napa Valley’s celebrated Swanson Vineyards


Two acquisitions in two months

Swanson Vineyards Winery & Salon EntranceSanta Rosa, CA. Sept. 2, 2015. Pat Roney, President of Vintage Wine Estates, announced their latest acquisition, Swanson Vineyards, located in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley, California. With the purchase of Sonoma Valley’s B.R. Cohn Winery in July, this marks the second acquisition in as many months.

“We are a family-owned wine company, and as such, we have a particular affinity with other family wineries— their unique stories, history and heritage.” commented Roney. “Our interest is in preserving the legacy of these wineries, while providing investment, resources and a plan for the future. Swanson Vineyards can certainly be counted among the most respected winery family names of Napa Valley.”

The purchase includes the winery, the Manley Lane tasting room, and the case inventory of ultra-premium Napa Valley wines including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. The winery also produces three sweet wines, including the highly allocated fortified wine, Angelica, and a Rosato.

W. Clarke Swanson has retained the vineyards planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and other varietals located on his Oakville estate. Vintage Wine Estates will source from these vineyards for wines produced under the Swanson label. Mr. Swanson will serve as a consultant to Vintage Wine Estates for the foreseeable future.

Swanson Family Legacy

The Swanson Vineyards story began in the summer of 1985. W. Clarke Swanson, Jr., a member of the Swanson family of frozen food fame, purchased a 100-acre property on Oakville Cross Road in the heart of Napa Valley. He was fortunate to obtain the services of Andre Tchelistcheff, one of the 20th century’s most sought after winemakers, as a consultant. In the bold business style long associated with the Swanson name, the decision was made to plant Merlot in the heart of Cabernet Sauvignon country. The risk paid off, and Swanson became best known for producing a “Cab-lover’s Merlot.” For the past 30 years, the Swanson wine label has been associated with the best of Napa Valley.

The Swanson family conceived the first luxury wine tasting salon, an intimate setting putting wine into the context of everyday enjoyment. “We intend to continue their “legacy of everyday luxury”, commented Roney.

The winemaking team at Swanson Vineyards which includes Winemaker Emeritus Chris Phelps and Winemaker Robin Akhurst will be retained.

Swanson Vineyards is the latest in the series of acquisitions for Vintage Wine Estates.  In addition to the purchase of B.R. Cohn Winery in the Sonoma Valley in July 2015, VWE acquired Canopy Management (a collection of lifestyle brands including Middle Sister, Purple Cowboy and others) in 2014. In 2013 VWE acquired Clos Pegase Winery in Calistoga and Viansa Sonoma.

Financial terms were not disclosed for the Swanson acquisition.

About Vintage Wine Estates

Vintage Wine Estates is a privately held wine company owned by a group of vintner families with deep roots in the wine business.  The families own a collection of winery estates and brands which includes  Clos Pegase Winery, Cosentino Winery, Girard Winery, B.R. Cohn Winery, Viansa Winery, Windsor Vineyards, Cartlidge & Browne, Sonoma Coast Vineyards, Ray’s Station, Middle Sister, Wine Sisterhood, Pro-mis-Q-ous, Monogamy, Girl & Dragon, Purple Cowboy and a number of exclusive wine brands – and now Swanson Vineyards.

An industry leader across all sales channel and dedicated to providing wine consumers with a range of wines from $10 to $100 dollars and at many price points in between, Vintage Wine Estates produces outstanding wines from Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and other premium California winegrowing regions.

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