Charles Banks has expanded his post-Screaming Eagle wine empire by signing a deal to take control of New Zealand’s Trinity Hill wine producer.
Trinity Hill did not disclose financial details of the deal, but its chief executive, Michael Henley, told decanter.com that Banks will take a majority stake in the business, subject to approval by New Zealand’s overseas investment office.
If that is secured, Banks will become a ‘partner’ in Trinity Hill and plans to invest an unspecified amount of money in the Hawkes Bay-based wine producer.
Chief among his plans is a new ‘boutique winery’ with a focus on top-of-the-range reds from Trinity’s 81 hectares, including around 48ha in the Gimblett Gravels area (pictured).
Trinity’s chief executive, Michael Henley, said, ‘By investing in Trinity Hill, Charles and [his business] Terroir Selections are ensuring the long-term viability of what is one of Hawke’s Bay’s and New Zealand’s most loved wine labels’.
Banks, who left Screaming Eagle in 2009, said he has been ‘hugely impressed by the strides the New Zealand wine industry has made in the last 12 years’.
This is the latest in a series of investments by Banks, who only last week emerged as one of a trio of new investors in Evening Land winery in Oregon.
Last year, he bought a controlling stake in Sonoma-based Wind Gap winery and acquired Napa-based Mayacamas with business partner Jay Schottenstein. In October last year, he agreed to take control of Qupé, based in California’s Santa Maria valley and best-known for its cool-climate Syrah.
Back in 2010, Banks’ Terroir Capital business acquired Mulderbosch Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Written by Chris Mercer