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Casella Family Brands buys Ballast Stone

Casella Family Brands confirmed late last week it had acquired ownership of assets from Shaw Family Vintners (Ballast Stone Estate). The transaction was completed following a period of confirmatory due diligence.

While the financial terms of the sale are commercial in confidence, it can be confirmed the transaction includes purchase of vineyards, winery, stock and trademark. While the purchase price has not been disclosed, a $16million figure has been rumoured across the grape and wine community. The purchase includes 432 Hectares of vineyards across Fleurieu Peninsula comprising of 42ha at McLaren Vale and 390ha at Currency Creek.

• The acquisition provides Casella Family Brands with premium vineyard holdings across South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula;
• The acquisition is consistent with Casella Family Brands' strategy to expand its position in the fine wine category and create regionally distinct wines from premium South Australian wine regions; and
Casella Family Brands intends to further unlock the potential of these premium vineyards.

Commenting on the acquisition, John Casella, Managing Director Casella Family Brands said:
“This is primarily a strategic investment in a large quantity of high quality vineyards. As we currently buy approximately 40% of the fruit supply from these sites it increases efficiencies and adds another dimension to our portfolio of already established vineyards. The fruit is well suited to Casella Family Brands' portfolio of premium wines characterised by having rich fruit flavours with intense colour; it therefore supports our ongoing premiumisation strategy and desire to create regionally distinct wines from premium South Australian wine regions.”

Under the management of Peter Bird, SA Vineyard Manager, Casella Family Brands intends to further unlock the vineyards full potential.
“This acquisition makes perfect sense for Casella Family Brands as it increases our grape to glass control and therefore quality assurance in our premium wines. Furthermore, it spreads the risk of fruit supply being adversely affected by climatic conditions elsewhere within South Australia,” Bird said.

As well as investing in its owned fruit resource, Casella Family Brands continues to place a huge amount of value on its relationships with grape-growers across the country.

“Our relationship with growers continues to be of paramount importance and they remain integral to all of our brands; Yellow Tail, Brand’s Laira, Morris Wines and Peter Lehmann Wines," John Casella said. "As our company continues to grow, our grower supply base is also expanding. It is an exciting time for the company as we increase our footprint in South Australia through both owned and grower sourced fruit supply.”

Casella Family Brands is working through the specifics pertaining to the Shaw Family Vintners winery and vineyard operations.

Casella Family Brands is Australia’s largest family wine company and continues to grow its portfolio. In most recent expansions, Casella Family Brands has branched into fine wine offerings including the Casella premium range of wines, Peter Lehmann Wines, Barossa, Brand’s Laira, Coonawarra and Morris Wines, Rutherglen.

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WID 2018