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Ex-Southcorp wine chief to buy Reynolds?

Former Southcorp head of winemaking Philip Shaw is set to take a major interest in bankrupt Australian producer Reynolds Wines.

Shaw, who left Southcorp last summer, is ‘advising’ the company that is in the process of acquiring Reynolds, decanter.com has learnt. The sale is in its final stages.

Reynolds went into receivership last August. The mid-range Orange, New South Wales producer makes around 220,000 cases a year, sold in the UK under the Little Boomey brand name. In the US the wine is branded Reynolds.

The company is ‘in the process of being bought’ by a US investment bank. It is not certain how big a stake Shaw will be taking in Reynolds but it is understood his involvement – as winemaker or consultant, or with a stake in the company – will be ‘considerable’.

One senior source in the Australian wine industry told decanter.com Shaw was interested in buying the company outright.

‘Philip Shaw wants to buy the company lock, stock and barrel – and he should get it for next to nothing,’ he said.

Shaw is one of Australia’s most respected winemakers, known for his pioneering cool climate work in the mountain district of Orange where he owns 40ha of vineyards. He has twice been awarded the Robert Mondavi ‘Winemaker of the Year’ trophy.

Reynolds wines are distributed worldwide – except for Australia and the UK – by Napa’s Trinchero Vineyards, owners of Sutter Home, and one of the USA’s largest producers. There was no comment from Trinchero yesterday on the sale of Reynolds.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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