Foley Family Wines, a Sonoma County-based portfolio of West Coast brands such as Sebastiani and Chalk Hill, has made a further foray into the Oregon wine business with the acquisition of the Acrobat brand from what's said to be the state's largest family-owned estate vintner.
Foley picked up the Acrobat line of pinot gris, pinot noir, rose of pinot noir and chardonnay wines from King Estate, according to Zepponi & Company, which said it was the exclusive financial adviser to the King family in the deal. Led by pinot gris and pinot noir, sales of Acrobat are anticipated to top 150,000 cases this year, and it is said to be one of Oregon's largest wine brands.
"The acquisition of a brand the size of Acrobat highlights the emerging importance of Oregon wines in the U.S. wine industry," Zepponi said in the deal announcement. The purchase price wasn't disclosed.
In 2016, Acrobat became the first Oregon brand to be awarded an IMPACT Hot Prospects award.
This is the third significant play in Pacific Northwest wine for Foley. Healdsburg-based Foley previously acquired Four Graces in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Three Rivers in eastern Washington. Executive chairman of Fidelity National Financial, Bill Foley started his wine company on the California Central Coast in 1996 and has grown it into the 20th-largest U.S. wine company, with 1.35 million cases produced annually.
Other North Coast-based wine companies that have been making significant investments in Oregon brands, wineries and vineyards include Jackson Family Wines and Copper Cane Wines & Provisions, formed by Meomi creator Joe Wagner.
The King family will continue to operate the King Estate winery near Eugene, Oregon, and its flagship brand. King's 1,033 acres of estate vines make up the largest Biodynamic-certified vineyard in the U.S. Started in 1991, King Estate later launched the North by Northwest brand to offer wines from other Pacific Northwest appellations. Then Acrobat was created to "bring the high quality of Oregon wine to more people for everyday drinking," according to the winery website.
The wine company was ranked 43rd largest in the U.S. by Wine Business Monthly in February, with 400,000 cases produced annually.
King Estate now will focus on making and selling wines sourced from grapes grown in the Willamette Valley, one of Oregon's top appellations, according to Zepponi.
Zepponi & Company is a Santa Rosa-based beverage-alcohol mergers-and-acquisitions advisory.