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More coverage of wine industry mergers and acquisitions: nbbj.news/wineMnA


The Napa Valley-based Trinchero Family Estates wine portfolio acquired the Five Rivers Winery on the Central Coast from Fetzer Vineyards, which is consolidating production to its southern Mendocino County base of operations.

It’s the second public deal this month by St. Helena-based Trinchero, best known for its lower-priced Sutter Home brand, and is “critical” to the company’s shift in recent months to make more upscale wines.

The deal includes the 46-acre property in the Paso Robles viticultural region. The site has 15 acres of petite sirah vines and a winery with more than 90,000 square feet, according to the announcement Tuesday. Fetzer, which purchased the property in 2000, will move the Five Rivers brand to its Hopland headquarters, said Cindy DeVries, chief operating officer, in an email.

Other terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Based in St. Helena, Trinchero Family Estates (tfewines.com) plans to modernize the facility and add white wine capabilities. “The purchase of the Five Rivers facility will be critical to the growth and investment in the premium and superpremium business that Trinchero Family Estates has made a priority in recent months,” the announcement said.

“The purchase of the Five Rivers facility allows Trinchero Family Estates to further expand our operations in the Central Coast region and ensure that our production of wines from that region are managed with the utmost emphasis on quality,” said Bob Torkelson, president and chief operating officer.

On Dec. 21, Trinchero said it acquired Napa-based Mason Cellars, known for its Pomelo and Three Pears white wines.

Started in 1968, Fetzer Vineyards (fetzer.com) has been the U.S. operations of Chile-based Viña Concha y Toro since April 2011. The three main brands of the U.S. portfolio are Fetzer, Bonterra Organic Vineyards and 1000 Stories.

“The asset divestiture is aligned with Fetzer Vineyards’ strategy to focus on the growth of our brand portfolio, which includes Fetzer, Bonterra Organic Vineyards and 1000 Stories, among others,” DeVries said.

Fetzer portfolio revenues were $17.12 million Chilean pesos ($11.41 million) in its third quarter, ended Sept. 30, up 1.3 percent over 12 months, the company reported. Volume increased 1.6 percent to 503,000 9-liter cases, led by 20 percent growth in exports but 0.3 percent slip in domestic bottle sales.

Trinchero Family Estates is the second-largest family-owned wine company in the U.S, behind E. & J. Gallo Winery. Trinchero’s 15 million-case-a-year wine production ranks it No. 5 among U.S. wine companies overall, according to Wine Business Monthly. The company began in 1948 with Sutter Home, and multiple generations of the Trinchero family continue to own and operate it. Trinchero employs more than 1,500 employees and manages 10,000-plus acres of vineyards.

Trinchero’s portfolio also includes Ménage à Trois, Trinchero Napa Valley, Napa Cellars, Folie à Deux, Terra d’Oro, SeaGlass and alcohol-removed wine Fre. The company also markets and sells brands such as Joel Gott Wines, Charles & Charles, Taken Wine Co. and Bandit.

Its imports include Angove Wines from Australia, Doña Paula Wines from Argentina, Carmen and the Wave Wines from Chile, and a spirits such as Amador Whiskey Co. and Tres Agaves Tequilas.

Santa Rosa-based Zepponi & Company was the exclusive financial adviser to Fetzer Vineyards in the Five Rivers Winery sale.

More coverage of wine industry mergers and acquisitions: nbbj.news/wineMnA