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US: Foster's to sell Sonoma winery

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Foster's Wine Estates (FWE) has said that it intends to sell its Geyserville winery in northern Sonoma County, home to its Chateau Souverain brand. The company added that it has entered into a purchase agreement with The Coppola Companies.

The purchase agreement is targeted to close in February 2006, pending completion of due diligence by both parties. Included in the purchase is a staffed winery production & bottling facility, restaurant and tasting room/gift shop. The Chateau Souverain brand is not included in the sale.

The price of the sale is to be kept confidential by both parties. The sale of the winery is a result of FWE's ongoing review of its assets that began in January 2004, a statement said.

Chateau Souverain will be moved to the company's Asti Winery near Cloverdale, which is being redesigned and updated to tailor it specifically to the brand's winemaking needs.

With the Asti redesign, and FWE plans to consolidate most of its bottling into a new facility in Napa in 2006, the company no longer needs the capacity available at the Geyserville facility, it said. Chateau Souverain wines will continue to be made from 300+ acres of estate vineyards surrounding the Asti winery, and grower vineyards.

"The Geyserville winery is a pretty setting, but we also have a beautiful place at Asti that is being redesigned to perfectly match the small-lot winemaking needs of the Chateau Souverain brand," said winemaker Ed Killian. "I'm really excited about the opportunity to make our wines in the 'new' winery, and I know our former Geyserville home will be in good hands."


Sectors: Wine

Companies: Foster’s Group Ltd

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