Gallo Said To Be Eyeing Ascentia BrandsMay 9, 2012
E&J Gallo is rumored to be eyeing an acquisition of Ascentia Wine Estates’ Columbia Winery and Covey Run. Asked about such a deal, a Gallo spokesperson told Shanken News Daily, “As you know, we regularly explore a variety of opportunities, but we have nothing to announce at this time.” A deal for the two Washington-based wineries would mark Gallo’s first move into the state.
Established in 2008 by wine industry veteran Jim DeBonis, Sonoma-based Ascentia initially demonstrated strong potential, boasting a 1-million-case portfolio and a marketing partnership with Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. After the alliance with Deutsch unraveled in 2010, the company became bogged down in debt and made several divestments—including the recent sale of California wineries Buena Vista Carneros (to Boisset Family Estates) and Gary Farrell (to Vincraft). In addition to Columbia Winery and Covey Run, Ascentia also owns California’s Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak and XYZin, as well as Idaho’s Ste. Chapelle.