Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Sale Pt 2

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Sale Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The sale of Washington state’s largest wine maker, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, was announced Friday to New York-based Sycamore Partners for $1.2-billion.

Steve Warner, president of the Washington Wine Commission, says while this is big, it changes little but the ownership …

WARNER … “As far as I know, yes. I mean, the CEO David Dearie, he’s very excited about the transaction and is looking forward to kind of moving forward. So, yeah, no changes as far as I know.”

As for the timeline, Warner says it should all happen soon …

WARNER … “As far as I know, yeah. I heard the number 60 days kicked around and I think it’s just a matter of the due diligence and, like you said, crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s.”

The move, Warner says leaves the industry with a solid foundation …

WARNER … “We obviously went through some bumps with

COVID and two of our major, basically sales chains going away, two of four specifically, where we lost the opportunities to sell wine in restaurants, and we lost the opportunity for tasting rooms and to sell wines in the tasting rooms. And, we weathered that storm and I think we’re coming out of it with a really solid foundation for that next phase of growth.”

Bottom line, Warner says this is good news ...

WARNER … “I can tell you the grape growers and the farmers out there are pretty excited about what’s going on. And, whenever they get excited, I get excited because, you know, it takes really good grapes and high-quality grapes to make really good wine. And, that’s what we all want for the state.”

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the 8th largest wine marketer in the U.S. and responsible for about 60% of all Washington wines sold.

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