Modesto-based E. & J. Gallo Winery today confirmed information from industry sources that it was acquiring the Washington state brands and operations of Healdsburg-based Ascentia Wine Estates.

The world's largest wine company announced the acquisition of the Columbia Winery and Covey Run brands and their associated wineries in Woodinville near Seattle and Sunnyside in the southwest region of the state.  The purchase price wasn't disclosed.

That acquisition follows the announcement Friday from Australia-based Accolade Wines that it acquired Ascentia's remaining North Coast brands -- Geyser Peak, XYZin and Atlas Peak -- and real estate -- Geyserville winery, The Cellar Door tasting room and 98 acres of Alexander Valley vines.

The purchase of the Washington brands is Gallo's first entry into those rapidly growing new winegrowing regions. The state is America’s second largest wine producer after California and has 650 wineries and more than 36,000 acres of vineyards in 11 winegrowing regions, called American Viticultural Areas or appellations.

“We have been watching the Washington wine industry grow for a number of years and consider these wine brands to be a key part of our premium wine strategy moving forward, said Roger Nabedian, senior vice president and general Manager of Gallo’s Premium Wine Division. "This purchase will help us expand our footprint and offer our customers wines from the Columbia Valley and Yakima Valley appellations.”

San Francisco-based investment bank Demeter Group was Ascentia's exclusive financial advisor.

Gallo is the largest wine company in the world, selling 80 million cases of wine globally last year.