Antinori strengthens its position in the United States: the Tuscan brand takes full ownership of Col Solare

Jun 22 2024, 14:55
The Italian winery will acquire 100% of the shares of the American company it managed with the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates group. After the historic acquisition of Stag's Leap in Napa Valley, the focus now shifts to Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State. The transaction is expected to complete by the end of June

Antinori is strengthening its position in the United States. For the Tuscan company, which just a year ago completed the acquisition of the prestigious Stag's Leap winery in Napa Valley (founded by Warren Winiarski, who passed away just ten days ago) from the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates group, another acquisition has been announced, this time in Washington State, in the Red Mountain area, a terroir particularly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon wines. This acquisition involves Col Solare, a company of about 12 hectares, created over 30 years ago by Antinori in partnership with the American Ste. Michelle group (first vintage 1995), and one of the brands that contributed to the significant transformation of American viticulture, leveraging Italian expertise.

The terms of the agreement

The agreement with Antinori stipulates that the Tuscan company will acquire 100% of the American winery's capital. The acquisition of Col Solare would mark Antinori’s second exclusive ownership in the USA, with the company closing its 2023 fiscal year with 250 million euros in revenue. In the United States, Antinori imports its wines directly, without intermediaries, through Vinattieri 1385, a company established in 2023 specifically for this purpose. The financial details of the agreement, which is expected to close by the end of June, have not been disclosed. The 12-hectare vineyard primarily features five clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, along with individual plots of Merlot, Carménère, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah.

Piero Antinori’s commitment to investing in the USA

"We have been fascinated by the unique terroir of Red Mountain AVA (American Viticultural Area) since the early 1990s. For us," said Chairman Piero Antinori, "it is a continuous and exciting challenge to make the red wines of Washington distinctive and renowned for their high quality. The full ownership of Col Solare (which, among other things, is located on Antinori Road in Benton City), along with the acquisition of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley in 2023, is proof of how much we believe in these exceptional wine regions." Shawn Conway, CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, recalled the three-decade collaboration with Piero Antinori to create Col Solare and transform it into an elite company in Washington State: "The fact that the Antinori family wants to increase its investment and commitment to Col Solare is a testament to the world-class quality, prestige, and bright future of the Washington wine region."

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