• Viña Concha y Toro takes ownership pf Fetzer Vineyards for US$238m
  • Brown-Forman set to focus more on US
  • Transaction set to close in April
Concha y Toro will take over Fetzer Vineyards from April

Concha y Toro will take over Fetzer Vineyards from April

Brown-Forman has lined up the sale of its California-based Fetzer Vineyards to Viña Concha y Toro for US$238m.

The US spirits firm, which began a review of its wine operations late last year, confirmed late today (1 March) that it will sell all of its Californian wine assets, with the exception of the super-premium Sonoma-Cutrer brand and Brown-Forman’s long-term agency relationship with Korbel California Champagnes.

Included in the sale are the Fetzer winery, bottling facility, and vineyards, as well as the Fetzer brand and other Hopland, California-based wines, including Bonterra, Little Black Dress, Jekel, Five Rivers, Bel Arbor, Coldwater Creek, and Sanctuary. Also included is a facility in Paso Robles, California. Around 240 people are employed at the key facilities.

Net sales from the assets being sold came in at $156m last year.

“We concluded that our company and our shareholders are best served by redirecting our resources to those opportunities around the world which offer stronger growth and higher returns on invested capital,” said Brown-Forman's CEO, Paul Varga. “This will also enable us to more fully focus on our best growth prospects in our most important market, the US.”

The transaction is expected to close in April.