Tim Adams Wines has agreed to buy Constellation’s historic Leasingham winery in Clare Valley, Australia – the place where Adams began his winemaking career more than 35 years ago.
Adams and his wife and business partner Pam Goldsack are set to make the winery the home of Tim Adams Contract Processing, a contract crushing operation to serve small producers and growers in the Clare Valley.
The complex will also be used to make a new range of wines on behalf of Variety SA, a local children’s charity.
The range will be called Mr Mick’s, in honour of former Leasingham winemaker Mick Knappstein, who gave Adams his first wine job as a cellar hand at Leasingham in 1975.
‘We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to resurrect this beautiful and historic landmark property,’ said Adams. ‘I began my winemaking career at Leasingham under the tutorage of Mr Mick Knappstein, so this is more of a home-coming than a new venture.’
The sale, which is due to be finalised in late January, does not include the Leasingham branded wines, which are now made from Clare-sourced fruit at Constellation’s Tintara winery in McLaren Vale.
Meanwhile, Constellation has also sold the Limestone Coast-based Stonehaven winery and a small parcel of adjacent vineyards to family-owned Australian Wine Equities (AWE).
AWE plans to use the winery to produce the eponymous Stonehaven wines, as well as for contract crushing, from the 2011 vintage.
‘We believe we offer a much-needed independent processing service into the district,’ said AWE chief winemaker Grant Semmens.
Both wineries were put up for sale more than 18 months ago as part of a restructuring of Constellation’s Australian wine supply chain.
A company spokesperson said they were ‘not related’ to the recently announced sale of most of Constellation’s wine businesses in the UK, Australia and South Africa to private equity group Champ.
Written by Richard Woodard