Vintage Wine Estates, a Sonoma-based wine company with several brands, has purchased Cartlidge and Browne, a California négociant firm. The exact price was not disclosed, but an executive at Vintage Wine Estates said industry insiders' estimates of $4 to $6 million were "comfortable." The sale includes the brand and inventory.
Tony Cartlidge and Glenn Browne founded their brand in 1980, and production has grown to 100,000 cases a year. The company purchases grapes from growers throughout California and made the wines at a facility in American Canyon, at the southern end of Napa County. Cartlidge and Browne executives approached Vintage Wine Estates about a sale because they wanted to increase production but lacked the resources. "We have been doing this for 30 years and I’ve been consistently undercapitalized," said Tony Cartlidge, who is partners with winemaker Paul Moser and Bob Babbe in the company.
Pat Roney, president of Vintage Wine Estates, said his company purchased Cartlidge and Browne because it’s a well-known winery and is well-positioned with a strong price point. “We are looking to expand the production and increase the distribution,” he said. The wines will now be produced at the Grove Street winery in Healdsburg. Vintage Wine Estates has appointed Marty Peterson as the new winemaker. Cartlidge will stay on as the face of the winery.
The sale marks the second winery acquisition for Vintage Wine Estates in less than a year. It purchased the bankrupt Cosentino winery in late December for a reported $9 million. With this acquisition, the company owns nine wineries including Girard Winery, Windsor Vineyards and Sonoma Coast Vineyards. Roney said the firm is looking at other potential acquisitions. “We want to have a collection of wines and brands to expand our portfolio,” he said.
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