If there is one Australian wine brand whose wines have reflected the markings of region, variety and vintage almost to perfection, it is the Casella Wines. Situated in Griffith in the Riverina region, in the state of New South Wales in Australia, this winery is famed for its signature Yellow Tail brand of wine which is the largest selling wine brand in Australia. Yellow Tail was first initiated in the year 2000 and by 2003 it became the largest imported wine brand in the USA. Approximately one-third of the Yellow Tail wine grapes come from the Riverina region. This popular brand produces a number of varietal wines from grape varieties such as Moscato, Semillon, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Pinot noir, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Grenache, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
High Gear on Acquisitions
Casella Wines has moved on to fast acquisition of reputed premium wine brands in the last few years as a part of its expansion strategy in Australia. In 2014, Casella bought the Peter Lehmann Wines for $57 million. Peter Lehmann is situated in Barossa Valley in South Australia. A year later, in December 2015, it went on to buy Brand’s Laira in Coonawarra District in south-east Australia. Brands Laira was a part of the McWilliams wines family. Other brands under the McWilliams wines include McWilliams, Mount Pleasant and Evans & Tate.
The acquisition sprint is continuing in 2016. It first bought Howcroft Estate Vineyards in January of 2016 for $9 million. Thereafter, in July, Morris Wines in Victoria region including its cellar door, winery, vineyards, stock and the brand Morris of Rutherglen were bought out. Morris Wines has a history of more than 150 years of wine making. It is also one of the most prestigious fortified wines producing winery. Close on heels of this acquisition, it also acquired more than 161 hectares of Hawthorne Ridge and Reedy Creek vineyards land area in McLaren Vale region for $12.4 million. Moving further, Casella wines lapped up Dunvar vineyards in New South Wales Riverina region for $12 million. These are one of the biggest vineyards spanning 902 hectares of land area where grape varietals Shiraz, Pinot grigio and Chardonnay are grown.
With these series of acquisitions, Casella Wines has successfully positioned itself in the premium varietals market of Australia. Since the drive of acquiring more viticulture assets is expected to continue, more acquisitions could be in offing in the near future.