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Sonoma-based Foley wines purchases New Zealand wine company

Bill Foley, who purchased Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery last year, announced Wednesday that his fast-growing Sonoma-based wine company is acquiring a New Zealand wine company.

Foley Family Wines has agreed to purchase New Zealand Wine Trust, a 280,000-case wine company owned by about 30 shareholders. Terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in 60 to 90 days.

New Zealand Wine Trust?s brands include Vavasour, Goldwater, Clifford Bay, Boatshed Bay, Dashwood and Redwood Pass.

The deal includes about 247 acres of vineyards, which, when could produce up to 350,000 cases of wine per year, according to Megghen Driscol, vice president of public relations for the company.

About 85 percent of the vineyards are sauvignon blanc, Driscol said.

?It?s still very early in the process, but we are extremely enthusiastic about the possibilities of this acquisition," Tim Matz, president of Foley Family Wines, said in a statement. ?In recent years New Zealand has been brought to the forefront of our industry and is now considered one of the great regions in the world to grow world-class wine.?

Foley founded Foley Family Wines in 1996 when he bought his first vineyard in Santa Barbara County. He also is president of Fidelity National, a major national insurance company.

His wine business has grown rapidly in recent years with acquisitions such as Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma, Firestone Vineyard in Santa Barbara, Three Rivers in Walla Walla, and Kuleto Estates in Napa.

Following the purchase of the historic Sebastiani winery in December, Foley moved management of the wine group to Sonoma.

The company produces slightly less than 500,000 cases of wine per year.


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