Company takes minority stake in Vintage Wine Estates

An investment firm has taken a $75 million minority stake in Santa Rosa-based Vintage Wine Estates.

The investment by AGR Partners, which has offices in Davis, Visalia and Chicago, will allow Vintage Wine to continue on its path of winery and brand acquisitions as well as expand its production facilities.

Vintage Wine was founded in 2008 when Pat Roney, owner of Napa Valley’s Girard Winery, bought Sonoma’s Windsor Vineyards, the industry’s first direct-to-consumer brand. It has grown to produce almost 2 million cases annually and is the 14th largest wine company in the United States.

“They understand the agricultural nature of our business and are fully on-board with our growth and long-term acquisition strategy,” Roney said of AGR in a statement.

Vintage Wine has been on a buying spree in recent months. In January, it bought Tamarack Cellars of Walla Walla, Washington, and in December acquired three wine labels from Napa Valley vintner Jayson Woodbridge: Layer Cake, Cherry Pie and If You See Kay.

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Anderson Valley wine festival moves location

The Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival will be held next month at a new location: Camp Navarro. The camp has a large event venue and can provide accommodations for up to 300 guests.

The festival, sponsored by the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association, previously had been held at Goldeneye Winery in Philo.

More than 50 wineries have signed up to pour their wines at the event held May 18-20. The event’s Friday night barbecue will be held at nearby Husch Vineyards in Philo.

An all-event pass for the weekend costs $425 per person. For more information visit the group’s website at https://bit.ly/2vbRTcA.

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TTB expands list of label changes

The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has expanded the list of changes that can be made to already-approved wine labels without wineries having to go through the entire permitting process again.

Wine companies can make minor changes in three categories: responsibility claims, environmental/sustainable claims, and food pairing recommendations. Those new permitted phrases can range from “sustainable farming” to “serve at room temperature.”

For more information, visit the bureau’s website at https://bit.ly/2qu3k9Z.

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Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com.