I took off a week from the blog for vacation but I wanted to catch up on the news while I was out.
Jackson Family continued their acquisition spree. Following the example of the Siduri acquisition, this time they acquired Captûre, a brand focused on Bordeaux-style wines and Chardonnay. Jackson Family has always been considered a real estate company with some great wine brands. After reading this interview with Adam Lee from Siduri, I think the motivation is a little clearer. Jackson Family has a lot of real estate but they have fewer successful brands. They have a bunch of great boutique Napa brands (Cardinale, La Jota, etc), Verite, and Hartford… but they must have realized that they need a few more brands at the high-end to put some of grapes they harvest. So they bought a Pinot Noir specialist and a Cabernet specialist – now they can plug in the grapes from some of those top vineyards into great brands. Plus, they acquire winemaking talent. At first, I questioned why a real estate company would shift its strategy but now I see that this is the complementary strategy.
The big grocery chains are making moves in big markets like Florida. The discussion in Florida is whether to allow grocery stores to sell liquor. The curious part of the discussion is that Publix opposes the idea while Walmart and Target are in favor. Publix has built an infrastructure of independent liquor stores so even though it may increase their sales to have liquor available in the same store, they likely prefer to keep the other big grocers out. Chains like Total and ABC are probably the most interested in fending off Walmart/Target/etc.
Treasury, one of the larger publicly traded wine companies, seems to be experiencing a turnaround. It is hard to know if they are actually turning around their business or just correcting some of the more egregious issues in their business (while benefiting from good currency situation), the positive press must buoy the employees and give them confidence in the marketplace.
And just a reminder to everyone:
What does it take to make a small fortune in the wine business?
Answer: Start with a large fortune… and even then it doesn’t always work out.