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Frescobaldi takes back Luce

Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi has just announced it has taken control of Luce Della Vite, the joint venture it set up with the Mondavi family.

While this ends the Frescobaldi relationshop with Mondavi – which is now wholly owned by Constellation Brands – over Luce, a new deal has been forged with Michael Mondavi’s new company Folio.

‘Marchesi de Frescobaldi welcomes the Michael Mondavi family as a shareholder of Luce della Vite and transfers the exclusive import rights in the USA for Luce, Lucente and Danzante to Folio Wine Company,’ Frescobaldi said in a statement.

The future of Ornellaia, the other high end joint venture between Frescobaldi and Mondavi, is undecided. The Tuscan producer became joint owner of Ornellaia in 2002, when Mondavi took over full control of the brand from Antinori, with whom they originally developed Ornellaia.

Ornellaia is now owned 50% by Constellation and 50% by Frescobaldi. ‘For the time being we have only acquired Luce,’ export manager Stefano Benini told decanter.com. ‘Unfortunately, we will have to wait to see what happens with Ornellaia.’

Earlier this year Leonardo Frescobaldi, a senior member of the family, told decanter.com they were ‘certainly interested in maintaining our share in Ornellaia or to have full control of the company,’ and that they would begin negotiations as soon as the deal between Mondavi and Constellation was completed.

Marchese Vittorio Frescobaldi, president of the company, said, ‘Luce della Vite is a wonderful project that was born from the love of the land and a passion for unique wines. Together with the members of my family, we agreed this acquisition was a must.’

Written by Adam Lechmere

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