Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates may have turned down a purchase offer from Down Under earlier this year, but the wine giant still has its eyes on Australia. Next month, the Sonoma County—based winery is unveiling its first Australian wine, Yangarra Park.
Four wines will be released initially, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Chardonnay, all from the 2000 vintage, and priced at about $10 a bottle. Carrying a South Eastern Australia appellation, the wines are a blend of purchased grapes and wine acquired on the bulk market. A second tier of wines, priced in the $18 to $20 range, will be added next year.
The new brand follows Kendall-Jackson's recent courtship with Australian wine and spirits giant BRL Hardy Ltd. In May, Kendall-Jackson ultimately turned down the chance to sell to Hardy, even though the offer was rumored to be around $1 billion.
Yangarra Park (Yangarra roughly translates as "earth" in a local Australian dialect) marks Kendall-Jackson's fourth foray into international wines. The company's other projects are Viña Calina in Chile, Tapiz in Argentina, and Villa Arceno in Italy.
Australian native Peter Fraser is the winemaker for Yangarra Park. A graduate of the University of Adelaide enology program, Fraser has spent most of his career as a winemaker for Normans Wines Ltd. He has also worked for such Australian labels as Woodstock Wines and St. Hallett.