Ian Neubauer

The Australian wine industry suffered another blow last week when San Francisco-based The Wine Group (TWG) put its sole Australian winery on the market.

TWG is selling its 15,000-tonne capacity winery at Griffith in NSW’s Riverina Region for an estimated $12 million, News Ltd reported. The winery was built in 1976 for Italy’s Cinzano and acquired by the defunct Evans & Tate in 2003, which sold it three years later under financial duress to TWG for $8 million.

The announcement follows a strategic review of the TWG portfolio and the acquisition in January from Constellation Brands of a Californian winery for $161 million. The high value of the Australian dollar — which makes Australian wine more expensive overseas – is also believed to be a factor in the sale.

Privately owned TWG produces Franzia, the leading cask wine in the US, and other low-value wines, including Foxhorn, Mogen David Kosher and Tribuno. It is one of the world’s most efficient wine producers and is said to employ the least number of people of any US winery for the amount of cases sold, according to Wine Business Monthly.

Constellation has also placed three of its large-format Australian wineries on the market, while a strategic review of Foster’s struggling wine business is expected to result in a sell-off of some or all of its wine assets. 

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The Shout Team

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