Vintage Wine Estates, a fast-growing Santa Rosa-based company that makes brands such as Clos Pegase and B.R. Cohn, has received a minority equity investment from AGR Partners, a backer of food and agribusiness ventures.
The $75 million investment by AGR and existing shareholders will help support future winery and brand acquisitions and expansion-related production efficiencies.
"We look to make long-term investments to support best-in-class businesses with great partners; our investment in Vintage Wine Estates aligns closely with this goal," said Ejnar Knudsen, CEO of AGR Partners, in the announcement. With offices in Davis, which is on the Solano-Yolo county line, and in Chicago, AGR has investments in Almark Foods, Ridley, Opal Foods, SEMO Milling, 3D Corporate Solutions, Icicle Seafoods and Tru-Test Group.
"They understand the agricultural nature of our business and are fully on-board with our growth and long-term acquisition strategy," said Pat Roney, president and CEO of Vintage Wine Estates.
In the past several months, Vintage has acquired Tamarack Cellars in Washington state, Firesteed Vineyards in Oregon and California brands Layer Cake, Cherry Pie and If You See Kay. Over the past several years, the company picked up Cameron Hughes, B.R. Cohn Winery, Swanson Vineyards and Delectus.
Vintage Wine Estates was founded in 2008 when Pat Roney, owner of Napa Valley's Girard Winery, purchased Sonoma County's Windsor Vineyards, the wine industry's first direct-to-consumer brand. The portfolio now produces nearly 2 million cases annually and owns wineries and estates, consumer and exclusive wine brands. Vintage Wine Estates markets and sells their wines across multiple channels, including wholesale, direct-to-consumer, tasting rooms, wine clubs, internet, telesales and television.