Chile's Viña Errázuriz, longtime partner with California's Mondavi family in several projects, has announced it has bought out the Mondavis' stake in one of them -- Viña Caliterra. The large-scale, value-priced line of varietal wines has been co-owned by the two since 1996.
The buyout was completed yesterday for an undisclosed price. Caliterra's basic varietal line now comes under the complete control of Viña Errázuriz and its owner, Eduardo Chadwick. The line, which retails for about $8 a bottle, has struggled with its quality in recent years. Annual production for the line is about 423,000 cases.
Caliterra's mid-priced Arboleda line, which retails for about $15 a bottle and has an annual production of about 20,000 cases, will remain a joint project between the two wineries. Also unaffected is their 50-50 partnership in Seña, a 3,000-case, high-end venture that has earned consistently outstanding ratings from Wine Spectator in recent vintages.
Despite the buyout, the Mondavi company will keep the exclusive U.S. importation rights to all the lines and will continue to represent some of the brands in key markets around the world.
The buyout comes on the heels of other changes at the two wine companies: Viña Errázuriz recently reshuffled its winemaking staff and Mondavi has made changes to its board of directors.