Fogarty Wine Group (FWG) and McWilliam’s Wine Group (MWG) have expanded their alliance, which will see the development of a Western Australia wine brand portfolio and sees Evans & Tate move away from MWG.
In 2007, MWG bought the Evans & Tate brands and assets, including the Redbrook cellar door and Caves Road vineyard, but the production side of the business remained outside of their control and with FWG.
This merger, which Jeff McWilliam told TheShout was a merger and not a sale, sees those MWG assets merged with the FWG business into the Margaret River Vintners business. This re-establishes Evans & Tate as a single integrated Western Australian business again.
McWilliam told TheShout: “This is absolutely a merger. In essence we are putting back together the old pieces of the Evans & Tate business into the one entity and rewording our equity interests in that business.
“Now that we have been working together with the Fogarty Wine family over the past five years and they have the majority interest of the production side of the old Evans & Tate business, which is the Margaret River Vintners. We’ve never been involved in that from a business point of view and a control point of view and now we are integrating all the parts of the business so that it is now a vertically integrated business and we’ll now play a more important role in the on-going management of that business.”
Speaking about what benefits this will mean for MWG, McWilliam added: “There is a whole level of operational synergies and efficiencies in having the vertically integrated business again. We think it is really important that it has its true Western Australian identity again, and McWilliam’s will still be providing the sales and marketing services to support the brand going forward. So it’s important to say that not a lot will change in terms of the market and our customer engagement, we’ll just have this alliance, which is a joint venture business that will be run far more effectively and efficiently.”
The merger will see FWG bring its Smithbrook and Pemberton Estate vineyards and the Selwyn Viticultural Services business into MRV. The resultant ownership of MRV will be 70 per cent FWG and 30 per cent MWG.
Peter Fogarty, FWG and MRV Chairman, said: “I am proud to have two of Margaret River’s finest wine brands in our portfolio. Bringing Deep Woods and the iconic Evans & Tate together is a great outcome for Margaret River, particularly as the region celebrates its 50th anniversary year.”
“Evans & Tate has been Margaret River’s most popular wine brand for over 30 years, driven by its Classic range and all of its high quality wines. It has consistently been Margaret River’s number one selling wine by volume and in recent years has further increased that volume.
“Evans & Tate also produces fantastic high end wines under the Redbrook label that have been among the most awarded wines in Margaret River. Only recently, the 2012 Redbrook Cabernet Sauvignon won multiple trophies at the 2017 International Wine Challenge.
“We intend on building the strength of the top end wines just as we have done successfully at Deep Woods Estate. At the same time, we will ensure all our wines deliver exceptional value for money.”