Clouds and sun

Australian company buys MacRostie Winery in Sonoma

  • PC: Steven MacRostie in the barrel area of his MacRostie Winery in Sonoma. Slug 04wine

    5/4/2003: E1: Steven MacRostie, stands in the barrel area at MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in Glen Ellen on Friday. MacRostie ships wine directly to consumers in only 13 states.

MacRostie Winery and Vineyards is under new ownership after its founder, Steve MacRostie, decided to retire and sell his 24-year-old company.

Lion Nathan Wine, a division of Australia's largest food and beverage company Lion Nathan National Foods, acquired the winery. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Lion Nathan Wine owns 14 Australian and New Zealand wine brands, and one North American winery in Oregon.

MacRostie Winery and Vineyards, which currently produces 20,000 cases a year, is the company's first California winery.

The winery is located in a leased facility on the outskirts of Sonoma, where it has built a strong reputation for its chardonnay and pinot noir wines. It does not own any vineyards.

MacRostie, 64, said retirement has been on his mind for a few years.

"I've been thinking about it for a long time," he said. "My children aren't interested in taking it over."

As part of the deal, MacRostie will remain with the winery for three years to consult on wine production.

"I'm too young to really retire," he said. "This will bring me back to my roots."

MacRostie began his career as a winemaker at Hacienda Winery in 1974.

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