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Banfi Kenwood deal collapses

The sale of California's Kenwood Vineyards by F Korbel & Bros to Banfi Vintners has fallen through for undisclosed reasons.

The deal, announced in March and expected to close in June, was set to include the Kenwood winery in Sonoma, its trademarks, bottling facility, and estate vineyards.

Spokespersons for both companies confirmed the news to decanter.com, but said they could not violate a mutual confidentiality agreement forbidding further interviews on the subject.

The acquisition by New York-based Banfi would have come on the heels of its 2010 purchase of Washington State’s Pacific Rim Winery, with Banfi co-CEO James Mariani saying that buying a California estate was ‘the next logical step’ for the company.

Korbel owner Gary Heck had earlier indicated that ‘it seemed an opportune time to explore the sale of Kenwood Vineyards’. Heck will now continue to own and operate Kenwood along with Korbel, a leading sparkling wine and brandy producer.

Kenwood, founded in 1970, was bought by Korbel in 1999 and produced more than 550,000 cases of wine in 2011.

Banfi, which owns Castello Banfi in Montalcino, has also been a partner in Bolla Wines with Gruppo Italiano Vini (GIV) since 2009 and last year formed the Excelsior Wine Company joint venture with Chile’s Concha y Toro to focus upon the US market.

Written by David Furer

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