The purchases continue the recent trend toward consolidation in the global wine and spirits market, in which Allied Domecq has been a major player. Only a week ago, the British firm confirmed a deal to buy Sonoma County's historic Buena Vista Winery, and last December, it bought the G.H. Mumm and Perrier-Jouët Champagne houses.
Graffigna and Sainte Sylvie currently employ more than 140 people combined and own about 1,200 acres of land, of which 422 acres are under vine. Together, the two wineries have sold around 900,000 cases of wine in Argentina so far this year. Graffigna's wines -- which include Malbec, Barbera, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio from the Tulum Valley -- have been exported to the U.S. market since early 2000 by T.G.I.C. Importers, Inc.
"The acquisition of Graffigna and Sainte Sylvie represents a further step in our strategy to build a global wine business and is a significant addition to our existing wine operations in Argentina," said Allied Domecq's chief executive, Philip Bowman.
Allied Domecq already owns Argentina's Bodegas Balbi and its 250 acres of vineyards, which it purchased in 1992. The Mendoza winery, which formerly operated under the name Bodegas Domecq, makes Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
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