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Australian giant to sell off wineries

Australian wine giant Foster's has announced it plans to sell three wineries, as well as production and packaging facilities.

The company, which bought the Southcorp group including the Penfolds and Rosemount labels last year, is selling one French and two Australian wineries in what Foster’s say is the result of an ‘extensive reveiw’ of assets conducted after the takeover.

The sale includes the original Rosemount Denman winery in the Upper Hunter Valley, opened in 1969 by estate founder Bob Oatley. Foster’s says it will retain the Rosemount brand.

A Penfolds packaging plant in Nuriootpa as well as the French Domaine La Motte business in the Languedoc-Roussillon region will be prepared for sale in the coming months.

The Seppeltsfield fortified brands will also be sold and Foster’s is considering selling-off the James Herrick brand if it can find a ready buyer. No additional sales are planned.

The sale of the Penfolds plant in Nuriootpa, Barossa does not include the winemaking plant across the road.

‘It really is too early to say whether jobs will be lost,’ said Nicola McConnell, a company spokesperson. ‘We’re trying to sell these facilities as going concerns and will try to help employees move around the business.’

Foster’s said the planned sales are part of a review of Foster’s winemaking across key regional sites. Foster’s Wine Estates Managing Director Jamie Odell said the proposed sales ‘will allow us to consolidate winemaking at our most technologically advanced, flexible and efficient facilities’.

Written by Craig Butcher

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