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Three-Way Oregon Deal Sees Mariani Family Buy Firesteed Winery, As Vintage Wine Estates Gains Firesteed Brand

June 9, 2017

Firesteed Cellars founder Howard Rossbach has sold the Oregon-based winery and brand in a three-way deal. The Mariani family, proprietors of Banfi Vintners, will acquire the Willamette Valley-based winery facility from Rossbach and 30 acres of surrounding vineyards from Mickey and Jeanne Flynn.

The Marianis will make the site the new home of their Rainstorm brand ($14-$17), which they say is currently rising fast from its base of 20,000 cases. Rainstorm, including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and a Silver Linings rosé, will be extended with more specific Oregon AVA-designated labels looking ahead. Rainstorm is part of the Marianis’ Pacific Rim & Co., which also includes the Pacific Rim, Eufloria, Sweet Bliss, Unparalleled, and Silver Totem brands.

Meanwhile, Vintage Wine Estates will acquire the Firesteed brand, marking its first fine wine label from Oregon. Firesteed, focused on Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from $14-$20, sells about 50,000 cases annually. Rossbach will retain his higher-end Citation brand, as well as the 200-acre Erratic Oaks vineyard in Dallas, Oregon.—Daniel Marsteller 

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