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Calabria Family Wines Buys McWilliam’s

By Tuesday 6 April 2021April 22nd, 2021No Comments

Griffith-based family business Calabria Family Wines has bought McWilliam’s Wines for an undisclosed sum.

The sale includes the McWilliam’s brands, intellectual property and stock holdings as well as the Hanwood vineyard, winery and cellar door.

The purchase does not include the blue-ribbon Mount Pleasant Wines in the Hunter Valley, which was bought separately by the Medich Family Office based in Sydney.

The Medich family business, headed-up by Roy Medich OAM, has interests in beef cattle, hotels and property development.

KPMG told the Financial Review that the combined sale price of the two groups was “in excess of $40 million”.

A report in The Australian said two-thirds of McWilliam’s total workforce was expected to be retrenched.

McWilliam’s Wines went into administration in January 2020. Private equity firm Prcstnt Asset Management was set to buy it but walked away at the last minute in December.

“It is a great honour for our family to become the proud custodians of Australian winemaking history with the purchase of McWilliam’s Wines,” third-generation general manager Michael Calabria said.

“Despite recent challenges, we know the McWilliam’s name carries a long and prestigious reputation as one of Australia’s oldest wine producers.”

“We have great respect for the McWilliam family and the impact they have had on the Australian wine industry,” third-generation sales and marketing manager Andrew Calabria said.

“Dad (Bill Calabria AM) loves sharing stories about the pioneering family and often spends an afternoon chatting and visiting with Jim McWilliam (96 years).

“We are committed to honouring the McWilliam’s legacy as we bring their portfolio of outstanding wines into our very own,”

Fifth-generation Greg McWilliam said, “Local members of the McWilliam family are pleased that the Hanwood winery and the McWilliam’s Wines business will continue under the control of the Calabria family and that their passion for the local region, brands and history of the company will continue under their family ownership.

“We have had a close and enduring relationship over many years and look forward to working with the Calabria family in the future.”

McWilliam’s was established in 1877 and has become one of Australia’s leading family-owned wineries.

With six consecutive generations of winemakers and over 140 years of experience, McWilliam’s has established a range of premium vineyard holdings across the Riverina and New South Wales.

As part of the transition process, Calabria Family Wines will work with KPMG and McWilliam’s to ensure a smooth transition as the business changes hands. The sale is set to be completed by 30 April.

Calabria Family Wines bought the wine brands Deakin Estate, La La Land and Azahara from the Wingara Wine Group in November last year. Wingara was part of Henkell Freixenet.

Established 75 years ago, Calabria Family Wines is one of Australia’s top 20 wine producers.

WBM will provide commentary on the purchase of McWilliam’s Wines and Mount Pleasant Wines in our Friday newsletter The Week That Was. Subscribe here for free.


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