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Vintage Wine Estates buys another Napa wine brand

  • 5/8/2008: E1: Pat Roney sits in the Grove Street Winery's barrel room in Healdsburg. Roney and partner Leslie Rudd have purchased Grove Street Winery, Sonoma Coast Vineyards and Stonefly Vineyards since January.

    PC: Pat Roney sits in the Grove Street Winery's barrel room in Healdsburg. Roney, along with partner Leslie Rudd have purchased Grove Street Winery, Sonoma Coast Vineyards and Stonefly Vineyards in the past two months. Shot on Wednesday, May 7, 2008. ( Press Democrat / Charlie Gesell )

Vintage Wine Estates has acquired another wine brand, adding Cartlidge & Browne to its expanding portfolio.

The Santa Rosa wine company plans to move production of the 100,000-case Cartlidge & Browne brand from American Canyon to its Healdsburg facility.

In late December, Vintage Wine Estates purchased the bankrupt Cosentino Winery near Yountville. It is still looking to acquire wineries on the North Coast, said Pat Roney, president of the company.

"We're still in growth mode," Roney said Friday. "We're going to look for another couple acquisitions."

The company already needs additional office space in Santa Rosa after adding about 20 employees this year — a combination of new hires and acquired employees, Roney said.

Vintage Wine Estates paid between $4 million to $6 million for Cartlidge & Browne, according to a source close to the deal. Tony Cartlidge, who founded the wine brand in 1980, will join Vintage Wine Estates.

Vintage Wine Estates is owned by a small group of investors who are bucking the trend of the down market, when many wineries are downsizing or looking to sell assets due to weakened demand for high-end wines.

Cartlidge & Browne becomes the company's ninth wine brand, joining Sonoma Coast Vineyards, Stonefly Vineyards and Windsor Vineyards. It has winemaking facilities at Girard Winery and Cosentino Winery in Yountville and Grove Street Winery in Healdsburg.

The company plans to build a fourth winery, Windsor Sonoma Winery, on Westside Road next year.

Vintage Wine Estates specializes in direct-to-consumer wine sales and buys most of its grapes from growers to produce its estimated 500,000 cases annually — now 600,000 cases with its latest acquisition.


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