Vincor, the Canadian wine company, has announced it is to acquire the Washington State producer The Hogue Cellars, a super premium winery and the second largest producer in Washington State.

With annual sales of over 400,000 cases of premium and super-premium wine, the deal will increase Vincor's annual US sales volumes to over 1m cases and US revenues to over US$60m annually.

"The acquisition of Hogue Cellars significantly furthers Vincor's North American growth strategy by immediately augmenting our portfolio of super-premium wines, enhancing our US sales and distribution network and bringing us considerable marketing, winemaking and viticultural experience and infra-structure," said Donald Triggs, Vincor's President and CEO.

"The Hogue Cellars is an excellent complement to our R.H. Phillips subsidiary and its acquisition will advance Vincor's goal to become a leading player in the US premium wine market. It is Vincor's objective for the integration of these businesses to result in significant cost-savings."

International Wine Associates representing The Hogue Cellars initiated the deal. Robert Nicholson of IWA said: "The Washington State is coming of age. Ten years ago there was not a lot of noise but now there has been a significant increase in the wine quality."

Nicholson continued: "The distribution networks between The Hogue Cellars and RH Phillips [Vincor's US subsidiary] are very similar. In most markets in the US The Hogue Cellars and Phillips have the same distribution. There will be a relatively seamless transition between selling Hogue products independently and through Phillips."

Vincor, which acquired RH Phillips last year, is becoming a significant player in the US market. One industry insider said: "Vincor is very progressive, with a dynamic management. It has evolved through acquisition to about 25% of the Canadian market. This acquisition makes them that much more significant. Growth through acquisition is their strategy.

"They are not on many people's radar as they are based in Canada, but in the next cycle of consolidation they could be quite aggressive."

Wines & Spirits in Canada 2001