Calabria-McWilliam’s deal complete

Image: Andrew Calabria and Scott McWilliam. Credit: Calabria Family Wines
By Samuel Squire

Calabria Family Wines has completed its acquisition of iconic Riverina wine producer McWilliam’s Wines.

In a letter regarding the finalised acquisition of the McWilliam’s business, Bill Calabria AM said the purchase “closes a difficult period for the McWilliam family”.

“I speak for everyone in the Calabria family that we aim to respect their many contributions to the growth of Australian wine and champion the unique attributes that have made the McWilliam’s name celebrated around the world,” he wrote.

“Since our own founding 75 years ago, the supportive relationships with our Riverina neighbours have always been an important part of our journey, not least with the McWilliam family. The McWilliam’s were instrumental in helping my father, Francesco Calabria, in establishing our vineyard and winery.

“I know that it’s in this spirit that Frank, Michael, Andrew and Elizabeth are proud and honoured to be working with Scott McWilliam and the rest of the family to bring both of our businesses together in the best way possible.”

Over the next four weeks, the focus for the Calabria business is to integrate each McWilliam’s Wines business department into its own, while maintaining individual brand identity.

“McWilliam’s Wines will continue to operate as its own brand, with the Hanwood site and cellar door continuing its duties for the foreseeable future,” said Andrew Calabria.

“Additionally, we are working with members of their team across the board to integrate and find efficiencies for both businesses to better function, which means some exciting opportunities and changes are on the horizon for both family businesses.

“McWilliam’s has been a wine industry leader throughout many NSW wine regions such as Tumbarumba, Hilltops and Orange, and we will continue to focus on this core strategy.”

In April this year, the Australian Financial Review reported administrators KPMG had been in control since the business collapsed in January 2020.

AFR reported the business was forced to re-start a sale process after a previous buyer, private equity group Prcstnt Asset Management, failed in October to complete a sale that had been ratified by creditors at an online meeting in late July.

“Our ultimate goal is to ensure we are both on a path to prosperity. Combined, McWilliam’s and Calabria have over two centuries of winemaking experience and excellence – and it’s our goal to give the utmost respect to that,” Calabria wrote.

“While these businesses will continue to operate as two entities, both families will work together – stronger as one.”


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