Accolade Wines, one of the world’s largest producers of new world wines, will “accelerate the expansion and premiumisation of its portfolio” with the acquisition of Katnook Estate Coonawarra.
Under the terms of the deal with current owner the Wingara Wine Group, Accolade Wines will acquire the historic Katnook Estate brand, winery, cellar door and control of approximately 160 hectares of premium vineyards on the terra rossa soils of Coonawarra.
Katnook’s heritage stretches back to 1896, when the Coonawarra’s second vintage was made in the Katnook woolshed by Scottish immigrant and Australian winemaking pioneer John Riddoch.
Accolade Wines CEO Robert Foye said the acquisition would not only add a “much-loved brand” to the company’s portfolio but would allow Accolade Wines to secure additional premium wine for the 2021 vintage, underpinning its global expansion and the premiumisation of existing brands including Grant Burge, St Hallett, Hardys and Petaluma.
“As we modernise these brands’ marketing and packaging, innovate into new higher-value product tiers and expand the distribution of these brands globally, we need access to more premium wine,” Mr Foye says.
“In terms of the premium winegrowing areas of Australia where Accolade is investigating opportunities to expand its presence and sourcing, Coonawarra is definitely at the top of the list.
“Not only is the area a well-known premium wine region inside and outside of Australia, it also produces the kind of rich and balanced red and white varietals that the rest of the world, including China, are thirsting for.
“Katnook Estate’s single varietal red and white wines are crafted with an uncompromising commitment to the finest quality and the regional integrity of the Coonawarra – Australia’s No 3 region for bottled red wine. The wines have twice won Australia’s most prestigious trophy, the Jimmy Watson, as well as a number of international awards.”
Katnook Estate wines are offered under three ranges: Katnook Founder’s Block; Katnook Estate and the limited release range of iconic Coonawarra wines from exceptional vintages, including the Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon and the Prodigy Shiraz.
Mr Foye said that on completion of the acquisition Accolade Wines will review the Katnook brand marketing and packaging, while retaining the brand’s rich heritage and history.
Sean Shortt, executive director, Sales and Marketing at Wingara Wine Group, part of the international Henkell Freixenet group, said the decision to sell Katnook Estate followed a strategic review of Wingara’s wineries and brands.
“We’re pleased to have been able to reach agreement with Accolade Wines and believe Katnook Estate will be able to reach its full potential under a new owner,” Mr Shortt says.
“Henkell Freixenet considers Australia an important market with great potential and is committed to further developing its sparkling wine and wine sales here.”
The acquisition is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.