With over 65 separate transactions completed since 1990 for a combined value of over $1.8 billion, IWA is the leading boutique mergers and acquisitions advisory firm that specializes in the wine and spirits industry.
From companies in California, Oregon and Washington, IWA represents many family owned wine estates, all the major U.S. and international wine and spirit companies and a number of financial institutions in exclusive sell-side mandates.
Over the years IWA has represented for sale some of the best known names in the U.S. wine and spirits business that has included over 5,000 acres of premium vineyards.
IWA’s primary business is selling wine and spirits businesses, brands, wineries and vineyards. IWA provides valuations and the necessary due diligence to prepare businesses for sale, initiates the approach to buyers and represents sellers through to the close of transactions.
Please contact IWA at [email protected] to better understand what our company can do for you.
Frédéric Rouzaud Wins the Heart of Merry Edwards: Louis Roederer to Acquire Merry Edwards Winery
The story of Louis Roederer’s pursuit of the Merry Edwards Winery is the stuff of a Henry James novel. Merry Edwards, one of the first women winemakers in California, has had to overcome personal challenges and adversities to build her winery. She is tough, fearless and independent. Humble yet ambitious, Frédéric Rouzaud is the great-grandson of Madame Camille Olry Roederer. He was born into an established French Champagne house and has continued to grow his family business into one of the most prestigious wine companies in the world.
What may seem like an attraction of opposites, however, belies the many similarities that drew Merry
and Frédéric together. Both were born entrepreneurs, willing to take risks to build their companies while adhering to their core values: producing wines emblematic of their distinct terroirs, all the while pushing the boundaries of land stewardship.
“Over the years, we have had opportunities to look at renowned wineries in Northern California but it is not until I met Merry Edwards that I felt my heart beating. Her personality, her story, her wines won me over. I knew it was the right moment. Going forward it is our mission to ensure continuity as we have done with our other acquisitions since 1990,” says Frédéric Rouzaud.
“In Frédéric, I have found a true soulmate to pass on the company to which I have devoted my life these past 21 years. I know my legacy is in good hands for the years to come as a member of the Maison Louis Roederer family” says Merry Edwards.
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Originally founded in 1776, Champagne Louis Roederer continues as one of the very rare Champagne houses to remain firmly in the hands of the same family, since 1832. For three centuries, seven successive generations have been responsible for building a reputation for unparalleled quality and continuity. Its focus on meticulous viticulture, best demonstrated with an ongoing conversion to organic and biodynamic vineyards, as well as precise winemaking, account for the House’s enduring excellence and success.
Since 1990, Maison Louis Roederer has strategically acquired esteemed family-owned wineries with an approach centered around identical core values, long-term vision and continuity.
Ramos Pinto (1990), Champagne Deutz and Delas Frères (1993), Château de Pez (1995), Domaines Ott (2004), Scharffenberger Cellars (2004), and Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (2007). Roederer has also established new ventures: Roederer Estate (1982) and Domaine Anderson (2012).
In 1997, family and friends joined Merry to found Merry Edwards Winery, with a focus on producing pinot noirs, sauvignon blancs and chardonnays with a sense of place from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. In 2008, she and her husband, Ken Coopersmith, completed their winery, where tastings are hosted to educate visitors about Merry’s handcrafted wines and site-specific viticulture. In addition to this property, their estate vineyards include Meredith Estate, Coopersmith,
Georganne, Warrens’ Hill and Richaven. Merry and Ken have also partnered with several trusted growers to supplement this estate production.
International Wine Associates worked with Merry Edwards Winery in this transaction.
NAPA VALLEY, Calif. – August 15, 2017– Duckhorn Wine Company (“DWC”), which includes Duckhorn Vineyards, Goldeneye, Paraduxx, Migration, Decoy and Canvasback, announced today that it has acquired Calera Wine Company (“Calera”). Founded by Josh Jensen in 1975, Calera played a pivotal role in establishing Pinot Noir as one of North America’s great varietal wines, and helped to establish the Central Coast as one of the New World’s most exciting wine regions. Hailed as a “Pinot Pioneer” on the cover of Wine Spectator, and referred to as “California’s Romanée-Conti” in another premier wine publication, Calera is one of California’s most acclaimed Pinot Noir producers, and has been named a “Top 100 Winery” by Wine & Spirits four times in the past decade. The sale includes the Calera winery, time-honored brand, tasting room, estate vineyards, and all inventory and assets.
“Like our own founders, Dan and Margaret Duckhorn, Josh is a visionary and pioneer who has spent more than four decades shaping the modern American palate for luxury wines. What he has achieved at Calera has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Alex Ryan, president and CEO of DWC. “Calera is one of the world’s great wineries, and we will ensure that Josh’s legacy of quality and excellence will continue to flourish for decades to come. For us, this is a fantastic opportunity to establish a presence on the Central Coast with one of the region’s most iconic wineries.”
Calera will continue to produce its acclaimed portfolio of wines at its seven-level, gravity-flow winery in Hollister, California. All key personnel, including Winemaker Mike Waller, will remain
with the winery. Jensen, who is 73, will continue to remain involved at Calera, and will join the Duckhorn Wine Company Board of Directors, where he will serve alongside his longtime peer, Dan Duckhorn.
“Calera is my life’s work. In this era of industry consolidation, it was vital to me that I choose a partner that not only shares the values that have always defined Calera, but that also has the market presence to provide our wines a continued strong and secure route to market,” said Jensen. “Duckhorn is one of the most respected luxury wine companies in the world, and for good reason. They have integrity, and they are absolutely focused on making great wines. I’m proud to be entrusting Calera to their expert hands.”
“Duckhorn and Calera are both innovators and leaders that have spent decades building the trust and respect of their customers and industry partners,” said Jamie O’Hara, president of TSG Consumer Partners, which owns DWC. “Calera will benefit from the strength of Duckhorn’s sales and marketing platform, its phenomenal distributor network, including its powerful California-direct model, and a best-in-class management team that will continue building on the legacy established by Josh. For Duckhorn, this is an opportunity to add one of America’s great wineries to a portfolio that already includes some of the most respected wineries in the United States.”
In addition to the winery and tasting room, the sale includes Calera’s renowned Selleck, Jensen, Reed, Mills, Ryan and de Villiers estate vineyards in the Mt. Harlan AVA. Totaling 85 planted acres, these vineyards are between 2,200 and 2,500 feet above sea level, and feature the limestone-rich soils that originally drew Jensen to this spot in the Gavilan Mountains, 100 miles south of San Francisco. With plantings dating back to 1975, these vineyards feature some of the oldest vines in the region, and are the source for Calera’s renowned single-vineyard wines.
While vineyard and winemaking operations will remain unchanged at Calera, the winery will benefit from leveraging the sales and marketing experience of DWC, which maintains an
in-house sales team of more than 50 people, with placements in more than 30,000 accounts throughout the United States, and in 50 countries around the world.
International Wine Associates (IWA) served as the exclusive advisors to and represented Calera Wine Company in this transaction.
About Duckhorn Wine Company
Duckhorn Wine Company has helped set the standard for American fine wine for four decades. Founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn with the launch of Duckhorn Vineyards in 1976, the Duckhorn portfolio has evolved to include Goldeneye, Paraduxx, Migration, Decoy and Canvasback, each with its own dedicated winemaker. With more than 600 acres of acclaimed estate vineyards, along with grapes from the finest growers, each winery has its own focused winegrowing program from which to make its wines. Duckhorn Wine Company wines are available throughout the United States, on five continents, and in over 50 countries. For more information, visit Duckhorn.com.
About Calera Wine Company
In 1975, taking his cue from the great domaines of Burgundy, which have grown grapes in limestone-rich soils for centuries, Josh Jensen founded Calera in the Gavilan Mountains of California’s Central Coast. His goal was to create wines unique to the world, but in the style of the greatest wines of France. Today, Calera’s wines still express this pioneering spirit, and are revered the world over for their elegance, complexity and terroir-driven character. For more information, visit Calerawine.com.
MODESTO, Calif., Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ – E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo) announced today that it has purchased Germain-Robin, California’s first luxury brandy.
In 1981, Ansley J. Coale Jr. had a chance encounter along Highway 101 in Northern California with Hubert Germain-Robinof the Jules Robin family, Cognac producers since 1782. Hubert’s desire at that time was to create a small distillery using traditional craft-method distillation techniques. In 1982, he and Ansley established Germain-Robin. The two men began making brandies from premium California wine grapes. By the late 1990s, when Germain-Robin’s cellar had matured, their brandies gained attention as some of the world’s finest spirits recognized for their elegant, complex and distinct taste.
Ansley Coale and Hubert Germain-Robin were pioneers in the creation of critically-acclaimed world class Californiabrandies, as well as innovatively blending Cognac traditions and techniques with California winemaking and premium grape varieties.
Gallo’s acquisition includes the Germain-Robin brand, the inventory of aged and aging brandies and all finished goods. These unique and irreplaceable aged inventories include
brandy lots that are over 30 years old, crafted from a broad range of traditional Cognac and Armagnac grape varieties, as well as non-traditional varietals such as Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
“It is a privilege to be entrusted with the stewardship of Germain-Robin’s California brandy legacy,” said Ernest J. Gallo, General Manager of Gallo’s Spirits Business. ”We are fortunate to have Ansley Coale and Joseph Corley, Hubert’s apprentice and current Germain-Robin distiller and cellarmaster, remain involved as part of the acquisition. We are pleased to continue delivering remarkable and unique California brandies that will appeal to whiskey and bourbon drinkers and other connoisseurs of brown spirits around the world.”
“For decades, Germain-Robin has struggled to place brandy distilled from California wine where it belongs: a category, long overlooked, in fact worthy of inclusion at all levels among the world’s finest spirits,” said founder Ansley Coale. ”We hope — indeed intend — that our unique knowledge and capabilities, supported and augmented by, and carefully integrated into, Gallo’s deep experience and powerful resources in both production and marketing, will help bring brandy from California wine the recognition it so richly deserves.”
International Wine Associates served as the exclusive financial advisor for Germain-Robin. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
About E. & J. Gallo Winery
Founded by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo in 1933 in Modesto, California, E. & J. Gallo Winery is a family-owned winery and the acclaimed producer of award-winning wines and spirits featured in more than 90 countries around the globe. A pioneer in the art of grape growing, winemaking, sustainable practices, marketing and worldwide distribution, Gallo crafts and imports wines and spirits to suit a diverse range of tastes and occasions, from everyday offerings to boutique, luxury bottlings.
The Gallo portfolio is comprised of more than 80 unique brands, including Barefoot Cellars, Dark Horse, and Gallo Family Vineyards. Premium offerings include Apothic, Carnivor, Columbia Winery, Ecco Domani, Edna Valley Vineyard, J Vineyards & Winery, Louis M. Martini, MacMurray Estate Vineyards, Mirassou, Orin Swift, Chateau Souverain, Talbott Vineyards, and William Hill Estate, along with highly acclaimed imports, such as Alamos, Brancaia, La Marca, Las Rocas, Martín Códax, Whitehaven, and LUX Wines, importers of Allegrini, Argiano, Jermann, Pieropan and Renato Ratti. Gallo Spirits offers New Amsterdam Vodka and Gin and E&J Brandy, in addition to imported Scotch whiskies from Whyte & Mackay, including The Dalmore, Jura Single Malt, and John Barr.
SOURCE E. & J. Gallo Winery
Robert Nicholson is a Principal of IWA and a leader in wine industry mergers & acquisitions and has completed over US $1.8 billion in... [Read More]
Robert Nicholson is a Principal of IWA and a leader in wine industry mergers & acquisitions and has completed over US $1.8 billion in transactions.
Before establishing IWA in 1990 Robert was Vice President of Christian Brothers in California and held positions with Seagrams in New York and with Louis Eschenauer in Bordeaux (when the company owned Chateau Rauzan Segla, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte and Chateau Olivier, among other leading estates). At IWA Robert has completed numerous transactions and has worked with many family owned and independent wineries, most of the major multinational companies, and a number of banks, including Diageo, Constellation, Grupo Codorniu, Moet-Hennessy, Brown-Forman, Jim Beam, Gruppo Campari, Heublein, Chalone, Fosters, Southcorp, Mildara Blass, Masi, Wells Fargo, European Bank, Banco Banesto, Lancaster Estate, Edna Valley Vineyard, Yalumba, Davis Bynum, Buena Vista, Cline Cellars, Havens, Gary Farrell, Geyser Peak Winery, Chateau Potelle, Charles Krug, Hogue Cellars, Pacific Rim Winemakers, Columbia, Covey Run, Ste. Chapelle, Errazuriz, Sonoma-Cutrer, Wild Horse, Sausal, Bonny Doon, Hangar One Vodka, and many others.
Robert was educated in England at Millfield and studied oenology at the University of Bordeaux under Professor Emile Peynaud.
Robert is an active industry commentator at U.S. and international conferences and speaks fluent French.Close
Josh Grace is a Managing Director at IWA and has over sixteen years of financial management, valuation, accounting,... [Read More]
Josh Grace is a Managing Director at IWA and has over sixteen years of financial management, valuation, accounting, mergers and acquisition and corporate advisory experience, with a specialization in the wine and liquor industry.
Before joining IWA in 2002, Josh was a Financial Manager at Robert Mondavi where he worked on California vineyard acquisitions and on financial management of the company’s flagship Napa Valley winery. At IWA Josh has worked on a number of prominent wine industry transactions with a combined value of over $1 billion with the following companies among others, Diageo, Constellation, Grupo Codorniu, Brown-Forman, Gruppo Campari, Fosters, Lancaster Estate, Sausal, Bonny Doon, Wild Horse, Havens, Davis Bynum, Chateau Potelle, Cline Cellars, and Wells Fargo that have included the sale of various businesses including Edna Valley Vineyard, Pacific Rim, Hangar One Vodka, Big House, Red Truck and many others.
Josh graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California with a BSc degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.Close
Katherine joins IWA in 2018 as a Managing Director. Previously she was a investment analyst responsible for financial modeling and valuation work... [Read More]
Katherine joins IWA in 2018 as a Managing Director. Previously she was a investment analyst responsible for financial modeling and valuation work on public companies in a variety of industries including technology companies in software, services and internet businesses, healthcare technology, automative technology and green tech. She was also Manager Director of Institutional Sales at Goldman Sachs in New York having shepherded over 100 of the firms prominent IPO transactions in the high technology sector.
Katherine graduated from The Pennsylvania State University Scholars Program with a BS degree in International Business and Management with Honors in Finance.
Katherine is also a breeder of vineyard sheep and a vineyard owner.Close
Sally Nicholson is a Principal of IWA and a Licensed Real Estate Broker specializing in the sale and acquisition of... [Read More]
Sally Nicholson is a Principal of IWA and a Licensed Real Estate Broker specializing in the sale and acquisition of winery and vineyard properties. Under Sally’s Real Estate License, IWA has completed wine industry real estate transactions valued at over $650 million since 2006 including the sale of: Lancaster Estate, Sausal Vineyard, Codorniu’s Ridgeline Vineyard, Brown-Forman’s Paso Robles vineyard, a Monterey vineyard, Constellation’s winery and vineyard assets (Geyser Peak, Buena Vista, Gary Farrell, Covey Run in Washington and Ste. Chapelle in Idaho), Chateau Potelle Mount Veeder winery and vineyards, Havens Napa Valley winery, Koves-Newlan Oak Knoll winery and vineyard, San Mateo Ranch vineyard in Rutherford, Davis Bynum winery and vineyard assets in Russian River, Demuth winery and vineyards in Mendocino and others. Sally has broad professional experience in Australasia, Europe and the United States with a comprehensive knowledge of winery and vineyard business valuations and transactions.
Sally has twenty five years of international experience in brand development and marketing of luxury goods and held a number of senior management positions with direct report responsibility to Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren and was a Design Consultant in the development of the Dockers Division at Levi Strauss.
Sally graduated with a BS degree in Design from University of California, Davis and has attended Harvard Business School Executive Education.Close
Briana Donahoe joined International Wine Associates in 2017 as our Project Manager and brings over 17 years of diverse background in real estate,... [Read More]
Briana Donahoe joined International Wine Associates in 2017 as our Project Manager and brings over 17 years of diverse background in real estate, wine industry and lending experience.
Briana graduated from California State University, Chico where she received her Bachelor of Arts and California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She has worked throughout Northern California and San Francisco in Office Management and Administration.Close