It has been quite a whiles since the Australian wine industry has seen this level of moving and shaking. Two big-name Barossa wineries have been sold; a big McLaren Vale winery is just about to close – and may eventually be sold; dozens of wineries are officially on the market; and industry observers suspect there are plenty more quietly searching for the right investor/partner.
When the Grapegrower & Winemaker tackled this topic for the December edition, we sought comments from Marc Soccio, Rabobank senior analyst, and Kym Anderson, from the University of Adelaide’s wine economics research centre. The thoughts of these experts built on what Casella Family Brands and Peter Lehmann Wines had to say about their transaction. However, our extended interview with John Casella, managing director of Casella Family Brands, wasn’t completed in time to get all his comments in the magazine article. But we think they make interesting reading.
Question: Apparently there is something like 46 Aussie wineries for sale at the moment. What does all this say about the state of the industry? Are the current, wider-industry conditions the reason for so many changes of ownership?
John Casella: We know that the industry is facing some challenges but we are beginning to see some positive changes that should start to take effect. The fall in the Australian Dollar will help with export trade, and FTA’s with key markets such as Japan, Korea and China present new and exciting opportunities Continue reading