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Gonzalez Byass Acquires Chile’s Veramonte

June 27, 2016

Spain’s González Byass has acquired a majority stake in Chilean winery Veramonte for an undisclosed sum. Formerly controlled by Veramonte founders the Huneeus family, the winery comprises two winemaking facilities and 600 hectares of vineyards spanning Chile’s Casablanca, Colchagua and Apalta Valley regions. According to González Byass, the acquisition of Veramonte will enhance the capabilities of its U.S. distribution operations, with Veramonte president Agustin F. Huneeus taking on a counseling role for González Byass in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Huneeus family says it will retain more than 2,700 hectares of land in Casablanca, including some vineyard holdings, and will focus on building a luxury wine portfolio in the U.S. Huneeus also recently unloaded The Prisoner and related wine brands to Constellation for $285 million.

Veramonte—which, in addition to its namesake brand ($10), produces the Neyen ($50), Primus ($20) and Ritual ($18) wine labels—shipped a total of 117,500 cases to the U.S. in 2015, marking a 7% decline in volume on the year prior, according to the Chile National Customs Service. For the 26 weeks ending May 21, the winery’s flagship Veramonte brand was down 10.9% in Nielsen channels, to roughly 10,400 nine-liter cases. Veramonte’s brands join Bodegas Beronia, Cavas Vilarnau, Finca Constancia and Finca Moncloa, among others, in the González Byass portfolio, as well as D.O. Rías Baixas-based winery Pazos de Lusco, which the company acquired in March. —Christina Jelski

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