Log In / Join Now

Two Australian Wine Companies Get New Backing

The Berardo Group acquires Cumulus, while ANZ Bank bails out Evans & Tate

Laurie Woolever
Posted: May 18, 2007

Cumulus Wines, the Australian group that encompasses Rolling Estate, Climbing and Philip Shaw wines, has announced the 51 percent sale of the company to the Berardo Group of Portugal. Assetinsure, an insurance company and once the sole owner of the wine group, retains 49 percent ownership of Cumulus.

The Berardo Group, headed by Jose Manuel Berardo and his son and company CEO Renato Berardo, also owns Portuguese wine estates Quinta da Bacalhôa and Caves Aliança, and is a joint venture partner in Quinta do Carmo with Baron Eric de Rothschild of Château Lafite Rothschild. The Berardo Group are also investors in Sogrape Vinhos, Portugal's largest producer; Colio Estate Wines of Canada; and Henriques & Henriques of Madeira. Though there are no structural changes planned for the company, which was founded in 2004, U.S. managing director Ron Mertz said that Cumulus plans to "both expand and develop strategic brands for a larger global footprint and partnership."

Meanwhile, Evans & Tate, the beleaguered Australian winery whose debts to ANZ Bank totaled over AUS$100 million, has found a 62 percent investor in the bank. The agreement, announced May 10 but still requiring the approval of the wine producer's shareholders, will reduce the company's debt to the bank by nearly half.

Would you like to comment? Want to join or start a discussion?

Become a WineSpectator.com member and you can!
To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. Member benefits include access to more than 315,000 reviews in our Wine Ratings Search; a first look at ratings in our Insider, Advance and Tasting Highlights; Value Wines; the Personal Wine List/My Cellar tool, hundreds of wine-friendly recipes and more.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.