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AUSTRALIA: LVMH extends Australian wine interests

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LVMH's Veuve Cliquot arm, has added a third Australasian wine company to its portfolio with the acquisition of controlling interest in small, leading premium producer, Mountadam.The sale was made through existing Veuve Cliquot subsidiary, Margaret River-based Cape Mentelle, for an undisclosed figure, which is understood to have been higher than market expectations.Several publicly listed and Australian companies are believed to have also been keen to acquire the Eden Valley-based winery, founded in 1972 by David Wynn, of the noted wine family.Cape Mentelle CEO, David Hohnen, said that Mountadam would be 'an ideal complement' to the other wineries.The Wynn family is retaining a stake in Mountadam with CEO and winemaker, Adam Wynn, remaining at the helm as executive chairman.Wynn said he was 'delighted' with the sale which would allow Mountadam to grow faster than under its former structure.At present only 50 of the company's 400 hectares were planted: up to 150 ha more would be planted within three or four years, allowing production to be trebled in an expanded winery.Mountadam currently has sales of about $A5m from 45,000 cases, half of which are exported, mainly to the UK, USA and Japan. Its principal brands are David Wynn, headed by Patriarch Shiraz, and Mountadam, with Mountadam Chardonnay having led the development of the Mountadam profile.LVMH, through its Moet and Hennessey arm, also owns Domaine Chandon, the premium sparkling wine producing company in the Yarra Valley, near Melbourne.


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