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PepsiCo director buys Portugal wine producer Herdade dos Coelheiros

PepsiCo director Alberto Weisser has acquired Portuguese wine producer Herdade dos Coelheiros for an unnamed sum and plans to expand the vineyard and improve quality.

Brazilian-born and US-based Alberto Weisser, 60, bought Portugal’s Herdade dos Coelheiros from the estate of winery founder Joaquim Silveira.

Weisser is best-known as the long-time CEO of agribusiness and food company Bunge.

The Portuguese winery, based near the village of Arraiolos in Alentejo, has 50 hectares (ha) of vines but also owns more than 800ha, which is mainly cork forest and also includes walnut and olive trees.

Wine is produced under several labels, including Ciranda, Roda dos Coelhos, Encante, Branca de Almeida and – perhaps its best-known range – Tapada de Coelheiros.

This includes single varietal wines made from Chardonnay and Petit Verdot, a white blend of Roupeiro, Arinto and Chardonnay, a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Trincadeira and Aragonez, and a red ‘garrafeira’ blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Aragonez.

The estate’s extensive forest is used for cork production and to raise Iberian black pigs. Herdade dos Coelheiros is also involved in oeno-tourism, offering accommodation including nine double rooms and a suite on the estate.

Wine labels feature carpet designs inspired by the carpet-weaving heritage of the Arraiolos area.

According to reports in Portugal, Weisser plans to keep existing staff in place, including winemaker António Saramago, and intends to plant more vines.

Weisser, who stepped down as CEO of Bunge in 2013, has numerous directorships, including a seat on the board of soft drinks giant PepsiCo, and is an advisor to asset management business Lazard.

It is understood that he developed a close knowledge of Portugal and the country’s wines during his time at the helm of Bunge.


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