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Foster's and Kilikanoon Agree Seppeltsfield sale
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Foster's Group Limited and Kilikanoon Wines – the principal of the newly formed Seppeltsfield Estate Trust — today agreed to the sale of the historically significant Seppeltsfield winery and vineyards located in South Australia's Barossa Valley. The sale includes a unique, unbroken and highly prized collection of vintages going back to 1878 – considered by wine critics and collectors worldwide – as living history.
The sale agreement comprises the 19th Century landmark Seppeltsfield site, vineyards and visitor facilities, Solero and Para fortified wine brands, all wine stocks and the rights to the Seppeltsfield name.
"The Seppeltsfield site is truly unique in the wine world,” said Foster's Chief Executive Officer, Trevor O'Hoy. “Under Kilikanoon’s stewardship, we believe this site will continue and prosper as one of the world's great names in fortified wine.”
The multi-award winning Seppeltsfield fortified wines are greatly admired by Australian, International wine show judges and fine wine consumers. It has taken decades of investment and skill to develop the famous slow maturing fractional blending systems known as the Seppeltsfield Soleras. Foster’s believes the future of these priceless assets is well assured through the careful selection of buyer and detailed sale agreement process.
“We are proud and excited to become the next custodians of this priceless national treasure and will work very hard to further enhance Seppeltsfield’s reputation as Australia’s greatest fortified wine producer. In consultation with the local community, we plan over time to spark new life back into the Seppeltsfield Village through sympathetic wine-related re-development and other ideas,” Nathan Waks CEO of Kilikanoon said.
Foster's will retain the rights to the ultra-premium Seppelt table and sparkling wine brand, which is based at the Seppelt Great Western Winery in Central Victoria, originally purchased by Benno Seppelt in 1918.
"We are committed to growing Seppelt and its reputation for Australia's most awarded sparkling and regional wines,” Mr O'Hoy said. ”And we are confident that under the Seppeltsfield name, a new and successful chapter in Australian fortified winemaking has begun."
Under the sale agreement, Foster's and Kilikanoon have entered long term lease and supply contracts for around 100 hectares of Seppeltsfield-owned “icon” Shiraz and Grenache vines. An agreement has further been made where Foster’s will continue to advise and manage Seppeltsfield maturation stores and soleras. Also under long term contract, The Seppeltsfield Estate Trust will process grapes for both fortified and table wines.
Bruce Baudinet — Chairman of Kilikanoon and the Seppeltsfield Estate Trust — said “Foster’s has worked diligently and patiently to find a suitable purchaser, who can both respect the century of traditions and take Seppeltsfield to the next level. We believe that we have the energy, capital and commitment to make Seppeltsfield one of the most exciting fortified wine producers in the world and a great South Australian tourist destination. We sincerely look forward to the challenges ahead and a close ongoing working relationship with Foster’s Wine Estates.”