The Randall Wine Group has acquired Gemtree Wines in McLaren Vale, established by Mike and Melissa Brown, 25 years ago in 1998. Warren Randall, executive chairman and proprietor of Randall Wine Group, has a long term friendship Mike and Melissa, dating back to 1994, when Warren Randall first employed Mike as a cellar hand at Andrew Garrett wines.
The Gemtree organic brand exports to Canada, United States of America, Hong Kong, Denmark, Singapore, New Zealand and Sweden – which recently placed an order for 300,000 bottles of Gemtree organic Shiraz.
The acquisition of the Gemtree organic wine brand is considered the final piece of the jigsaw to propel the Randall Wine Group onto the organic world wine stage.
The Randall Wine Group acquired the celebrated Hiltop organic vineyard in McLaren Vale earlier this year, also planted 25 years ago. The 200 acre Hiltop vineyard is the largest single, 100% organic vineyard in a premium region in Australia and will be managed by the Australian master of organic viticulture, Melissa Brown.
Gemtree’s organic wine portfolio will be overseen by co-founder, Mike Brown at the Boar’s Rock winery in McLaren Vale – the largest, premium organically certified winery in Australia, acquired in 2019.
The global expansion of the Gemtree brand will also be supported by a number of private McLaren Vale organically certified growers.
Warren Randall was ebullient enthusiastic about the Gemtree brand acquisition.
“Gemtree is such an exciting brand to add to our stable of thoroughbred brands, Seppeltsfield and Penny’s Hill,” he said.
“Organic wine production presents a big opportunity. Organic wine sales are on the march, by 2.5 fold internationally and 15 fold domestically in the last 10 years, while non-organic wine sales declined.
“Australia possesses natural climatic attributes that are conducive to the crafting of organic wine in both the vineyard and the winery. Our hot and dry Mediterranean climate in McLaren Vale is entirely suited to world class organic and bio-dynamic wines and yet we are the 11th in the world, in terms of organic vineyard area with only 1% of the world’s organic vineyards.”
“There is a significant opportunity for Australian wine to penetrate the biggest organic wine markets in the world, like Germany, France, United Kingdom, United States of America and Sweden. Canada, Japan and New Zealand also present future opportunity.”
Gemtree wines was a significant exporter to China, before the punitive tariffs were applied in March 2021. The potential re-opening of China presents another excellent export opportunity for Gemtree as it reclaims its previous position.
“As an industry we are not doing enough to attract young consumers, like the Millennials, (27 to 42) and entice them to become regular wine consumers. Currently, Millennials buy much less wine than the Boomers. They are more educated and aware and have a greater appreciation of choices and the provenance of what they eat and drink. They are more likely to seek and understand the winemaking techniques used to craft the wine they are buying and consuming.
“An organic or biodynamically crafted wine brand with genuine provenance and integrity, like Gemtree is more likely to appeal than a generic, non-organic wine brand in the supermarkets with no provenance. They are smart and savvy consumers and sustainability is also paramount in their purchasing decisions.
“With the Randall Wine Group achieving 100% sustainable certification in early 2023, Gemtree wines is now both a valuable and natural addition to our group.”
The sale follows the announcement earlier this year that Gemtree’s McLaren Vale winery facilities were acquired through a partnership between Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards and Mike Press Wines.
The Randall Wine Group was established in 1978 and is Australia’s largest private luxury vineyard holder, including Seppeltsfield Estate in the Barossa and Penny’s Hill Estate in McLaren Vale, with total vineyard holdings spanning over 9000 acres in 8 premium regions across South Australia.
Today, the Randall Wine Group is well placed to become a major player in the rapidly growing global organic wine market, which has increased by 250% in the last 10 years.
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