Norton Safeweb

Friday, March 30, 2012

Kenwood Vineyards Sold?

It's reported that Banfi Vintners will buy Kenwood Vineyards, a 500,000 case winery in Sonoma Valley, from Gary Heck. Gary also owns Korbel plus smaller wineries Valley of the Moon and Lake Sonoma.

During Heck's ownership he has grown Kenwood in cases produced though not necessarily in quality or status. That is, prices have stagnated, so I suppose has the bottom line.

Kenwood is tightly integrated with Valley of the Moon and Lake Sonoma in production and administration. I don't know if Kenwood can maintain that level of case production without the Valley of the Moon facility. Plus some of their grapes come from the Korbel property.

Rumors have circulated for years that Heck may want to sell off a piece of his wine empire. Looks like it's going to happen. It's not a done deal at this time, but there's a signed letter of intent from Banfi to purchase Kenwood with the deal wrapping up in June.

This would be Banfi's first acquisition in California. They are probably best known for Riunite wines (remember the old Riunite on Ice commercials)?