The billionaire owner of Fiji Water, Stewart Resnick, has made his second major wine buy in a year with the acquisition of Sonoma Chardonnay specialist Landmark Vineyards.
Spring at Landmark Vineyards, Kenwood, Sonoma
Resnick, chairman and owner of agricultural conglomerate Roll Global, reportedly intends to double production at the Kenwood winery, which has 11 acres of vineyards and currently makes about 25,000 cases of wine a year, priced at US$28-50 a bottle.
Roll Global, which owns Fiji Water and Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice, as well as farming citrus, almonds and pistachios, acquired Paso Robles-based Justin Vineyards and Winery in December last year. Neither sale price was disclosed.
The Landmark deal includes the winery, vineyards and stock, and comes 37 years after the business was founded by Damaris Deere Ford, a descendant of steel plough inventor and tractor maker John Deere.
Resnick said the acquisition was ‘an important step’ for Roll Global and paid tribute to the ‘fantastic job’ done by current owners, Mike and Mary Colhoun, Deere Ford’s son and daughter-in-law.
According to local reports, the Colhouns were under no pressure to sell the business and were only prepared to listen to ‘spectacular’ offers.
They will continue to play a limited role in Landmark and have signed a ‘no compete’ clause prohibiting them from participating in the wine business for five years.
Written by Richard Woodard