Australian Wine Company Acquires Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga for $ 315 Million

Australian wine company Treasury Wine Estates said on Wednesday it had bought Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga for $ 315 million as it continues to shift its portfolio to higher-end brands.

The deal includes the tasting room at the Larkmead Lane wine estate in Calistoga which welcomed 30,000 visitors in 2019; the Benjamin Vineyard in Rutherford and the S&J Vineyard in Capell Valley as well as its inventory which offers prices ranging from $ 38 to $ 225 per bottle. The transaction is expected to close in December.

Treasury, which owns brands such as Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood and Beaulieu Vineyard in Rutherford and iconic brand Stag’s Leap, had previously ditched some of its more affordable assets in the United States. This included the sale of part of his famous Beringer Vineyards brand in St Helena to The Wine Group earlier this year.

“We have effectively replaced our portfolio of low-margin, declining business assets with the high-growth, high-margin luxury business of Frank Family Vineyards,” said Ben Dollard, president of the company’s America division.

As Napa Valley’s growth in recent years has been fueled by increasingly expensive Cabernet Sauvignon, Dollard said his company saw huge potential in the region’s luxury chardonnay market, with Frank helping to boost the market with its grape varieties. For example, Frank Family Chardonnay made from grapes grown in the Carneros region sells on the winery’s website for $ 38 a bottle and the winery notes that it has a 90 point rating from reviewer Jeb Dunnuck.

“Frank’s Family has a strong position in the large and growing US luxury chardonnay market, and combined with our existing portfolio, we will now rank third in luxury chardonnays and second in price at $ 25 and above.” , did he declare.

Rich Frank founded Frank Family Vineyards in 1992 after first purchasing a house in Rutherford and expanded the known business to host his tastings at a pale yellow 1930s artisan house. Rich and his wife Leslie Frank will keep ownership of Winston Hill Vineyard in Rutherford and Lewis Vineyard in Carneros and will allow TWE to continue sourcing grapes for the label.

The winemaker and general manager of the Frank family, Todd Graff, will remain with the company.

You can reach editor Bill Swindell at 707-521-5223 or [email protected]. On Twitter @BillSwindell.

Shirley M. Pinder