A to Z Wineworks sells to Washington winery giant
The largest winery in the Northwest significantly expanded its presence last month with the acquisition of a major player in the Yamhill County wine scene.
Newberg's A to Z Wineworks and its subsidiary Rex Hill were purchased by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in September, adding to a portfolio that includes the 2006 purchase of Dundee's Erath Winery. It is the first major acquisition for Ste. Michelle since it was purchased by the private equity firm Sycamore Partners for $1.2 billion in July 2021.
"Erath and A to Z share the same passion for producing high-quality wines at fair prices, making A to Z a natural fit for Ste. Michelle," David Dearie, St. Michelle CEO, said in a press release. "The future of Pacific Northwest wines — both Oregon and Washington — is bright and we're excited to introduce new consumers across the country and around the world to the full complement of our region's outstanding wines."
St. Michelle, based in Woodinville, Washington, is already considered the largest winery in the Northwest, boasting more than 30,000 acres of vineyards in Oregon, Washington and California. The band distributes to more than 100 countries and — with the acquisition of A to Z, Rex Hill and Erath — is poised to produce more than 700,000 cases of wine annually. A to Z bought Rex Hill in 2006.
The move includes A to Z president and CEO Amy Prosenjak joining the Ste. Michelle team as overseer of the company's holdings in Oregon. A transition team that includes A to Z founding partners Deb Hatcher, Cheryl Francis and Sam Tannahill is also in place. The trio will remain as consultants after the transition is complete.
"We could not have found a better partner than Ste. Michelle to carry on the legacy of both A to Z and Rex Hill," Hatcher said. "They understand the Pacific Northwest better than anyone, and they know what it takes to promote an entire region on the global stage."
A to Z's back story began in 2002 when Deb Hatcher of Eyrie, Sam Tannahill of Archery Summit, Cheryl Francis of Chehalem and Bill Hatcher of Domaine Drouhin Oregon joined forces. The winery's offerings are generally economical vintages that are diverse — including pinot noir, chardonnay, Riesling, pinot gris, rosé and sparkling wine.
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