Vintage Wine Trust (VWT) has completed the acquisitions of two California vineyards. The two estates, Iron Corral in Napa Valley and Gravelly Ford in the Central Valley of California, have cost the trust approximately US$16.5m.

The purchases, announced yesterday (6 July), were funded with proceeds from VWT's March 2005 private equity offering. To date, VWT has acquired almost US$90m in vineyard assets, which include about 3,600 acres.

The Iron Corral vineyard, located in Pope Valley, which is part of the Napa Valley appellation, was acquired from, and leased back to, Foster's Wine Estates - Americas. The vineyard, which was acquired for around US$9.5m, totals approximately 192 acres, 142 of which are currently planted. The principal varietals grown at Iron Corral are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

The Gravelly Ford vineyard, in Central Valley, was acquired from one of the nation's largest privately owned wineries and leased back to an established Central Valley independent grape grower. The vineyard, which was acquired for about US$7m, totals approximately 769 acres, all of which are planted. The principal varietals grown at Gravelly Ford are French Colombard, Zinfandel and Ruby Cabernet.

"These vineyards are fantastic additions to our portfolio," said Joseph W. Ciatti, Vintage Wine Trust's chairman and chief executive officer. "Our acquisition pipeline remains robust, and we believe we'll be able to continue to grow our asset base over the coming months as wineries and independent grape growers look for ways to re-deploy real estate assets into higher return and more strategic initiatives."