Australian retail drinks and hospitality business Endeavour Group has completed the acquisition of Josef Chromy Wines in Tasmania, acquired in partnership with agricultural investment managers Warakirri Asset Management.
The acquisition aims to further enhance Paragon Wine Estates, Endeavour Group’s fine wine portfolio, which includes a collection of premium heritage wineries and wine brands.
“We are thrilled to add Josef Chromy Wines to our Paragon Wine Estates portfolio as part of our strategy to grow our premium wine production capabilities,” Endeavour Group managing director and CEO Steve Donohue said.
“The acquisition continues our investment in Tasmania, which is currently the top performing Australian region for premium wines in our retail stores throughout the country.
“Josef Chromy Wines is one of the most renowned Tasmanian wineries, having produced exceptional, cool climate wines for almost two decades.”
Endeavour Group will now add over 60 team members from Josef Chromy’s winery and cellar door to its operations in Tasmania, which consists of more than 40 stores and pubs with approximately 500 team members.
Under the terms of the agreement, Endeavour Group will lease the state-of-the-art winery, the 61 hectare vineyard, restaurant and cellar door – all situated just south of Launceston – from Warakirri Asset Management on a long term basis.
“We are always considering how to best deliver value to our shareholders through our growth strategy, and we already have significant experience successfully managing leasehold property assets thanks to our hotel and store networks,” Donohue said.
“The partnership with Warakirri Asset Management will enable us to extend this successful model to these winemaking operations.
“We’re confident that we can build on the success of Josef Chromy Wines and expand their appeal by leveraging our brand-building capabilities, extensive store network, digital platforms and our capacity to invest in quality and innovation.”
Josef Chromy OAM played a part in the development of the Tasmanian wine industry for the past 30 years, having owned and developed some of the region’s leading wineries including Rochecombe (now Bay of Fires), Jansz, Heemskerk and Tamar Ridge. He founded Josef Chromy Wines in 2004.
“Josef Chromy Wines is an iconic business that has wonderful potential for growth and I am certain that the expertise and financial strength of the new owners combined with our excellent staff will see unprecedented expansion over coming years,” Chromy said.
“At 91 years of age, I feel it is appropriate that I retire from this business, however, I wish Endeavour Group and Warakirri every success for the future at Josef Chromy Wines.
“You can all count on me to remain a regular at the venue!”
Shaine De Venny, currently General Manager of Josef Chromy Wines, who joined following a long career in luxury wine and spirits with LVMH, will take on the role as Head of Paragon Wine Estates.
Josef Chromy Chief winemaker Ockie Myburgh and head chef Nick Raitt will continue to craft award-winning wines and food experiences at the winery and cellar door.\
In addition, Endeavour Group has appointed Kellie Graham to the role of viticulture manager Tasmania.
She joins the company from Treasury Wine Estates, where she was the viticulture lead for Tasmania.
The addition of Josef Chromy Wines expands the Paragon Wine Estates regional coverage to include award-winning brands across six premium key wine regions in Australia and New Zealand; Oakridge Wines (Yarra Valley), Chapel Hill (McLaren Vale), Isabel Estate (Marlborough, NZ); Krondorf (Barossa Valley), Riddoch (Coonawarra) and Josef Chromy Wines (Tasmania).
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