Wine giant Treasury Wine Estates has bolstered its cool climate wine-making capabilities after buying the Beenak Vineyard in the Upper Yarra Valley east of Melbourne from Accolade Wines for just over $7 million.
The 55-hectare vineyard is planted with 45 hectares of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes and is suited to both table wine and sparkling wine production.
Included in the sale was a 71-megalitre water entitlement, a residence, sheds and other improvements.
Commenting on the acquisition of Beenak Vineyard, Treasury Wine Estates CEO Tim Ford said the winemaker was “always interested” in acquiring vineyards that produce high-quality fruit.
“Vineyards producing Pinot Noir are of particular interest as we respond to the very strong consumer demand for our Coldstream Hills and St Huberts brands,” Mr Ford said.
“The opening of our new cellar door at Hubert Estate [in nearby Coldstream] has further enhanced demand for cool climate wines in the portfolio,” he added.
In May Mr Ford told an investor conference in May that TWE intended to be a “clear leader globally” in the premium and luxury wine market, which is expected to be worth $120 billion by 2025.
Despite being hit hard by Chinese wine tariffs, TWE has been on an expansion drive in the last eighth months, purchasing Frank Family Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley for US$315 million ($455m), four wineries in Bordeaux and announcing plans to offer its first Chinese-made Penfolds wine this year.
The sale of Beenak Vineyard was brokered by Stephen Strachan of wine specialists Langley & Co Advisors.
“The Beenak vineyard was planted in 1988 and is the source of one of the most extensive plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Upper Yarra Valley, demonstrating yet again the market strength for premium cool climate vineyards of pedigree,” Mr Strachan said.
Beenak vendor Accolade is Australia’s second-largest wine company behind TWE, and owned by private equity firm Carlyle Group.
In another notable winery deal, Yarra Valley winemaker James Olivier and his partner Constance are moving to Tasmania’s Tamar Valley after purchasing Moores Hill Estate near Launceston from owners Fiona Weller, Julian Allport, Tim High and Sheena High.
Best known for its Riesling and Pinot Noir, Moores Hill Estate includes a boutique vineyard, solar-powered winery and cellar door.
The selling price was not disclosed. Moores Hill Estate was last up for sale in 2016 asking $1.6 million + stock. Langley & Co brokered the deal.
New owner Mr Oliver was previously a winemaker at Yarra Valley’s renowned Yering Station, owned by former Rich Lister Doug Rathbone.