Privately-owned Western Australian winemaker Stella Bella has been named as the mystery buyer of Alexandra Bridge, the winery sold last week by Australian Wine Holdings.

Stella Bella, located in the Margaret River region, makes a portfolio of wines under the names Stella Bella, Suckfizzle and Skuttlebutt.

A report today (21 September) in The West Australian newspaper named Stella Bella as the buyer and cited "industry insiders" suggesting the winemaker paid around A$4m (US$3m) for the winery.

Stella Bella managing director John Britton told the newspaper that the acquisition was part of the natural growth of the business, which had been solely focused on its wine brands.

"We don't have a winery, we have been spending our initial years brand building rather than building buildings, which is a different approach," Britton said.

"The purchase of Alexandra Bridge was an opportunity ... to have a foothold over its own production, we have used contract wine-making facilities in the past."

The report said that Stella Bella wines had been produced under contract at Alexandra Bridge.

The sale of the winery came alongside AWH's move to offload its Hay Shed Hill vineyard. AWH put the assets on the block to reduce debt and said it had raised A$11m from the two deals.

AWH will retain the Alexandra Bridge brand, buy in its grapes and use third-party winemaking facilities to produce labels including Chestnut Grove and Bunker Bay.

Managing director Mike Calneggia told just-drinks last week that the company would focus on the sales and marketing of its wines.

"Consumers are less concerned about where the stuff is from and where it's made, they want to know how cheap it is," he said.