Australia Wine

Accolade acquires historic Katnook Estate Coonawarra

Australian wine group Accolade Wines has purchased the 124-year-old Katnook Estate, as the company pivots to drive premium wine growth.

Australian wine group Accolade Wines has purchased the 124-year-old Katnook Estate Coonawarra estate, as the company pivots to drive premium wine growth.

The acquisition would include Katnook Estate brand, winery, cellar door and control of approximately 160 hectares of premium vineyards on the famed terra rossa (red clay) soils of the Coonawarra in southeast South Australia.

Katnook’s heritage stretches back to 1896, when the Coonawarra’s second vintage was made in the Katnook woolshed by Scottish immigrant and Australian winemaking pioneer John Riddoch. Accolade Wine’s own history can be traced back to the establishment of Houghton in Western Australia’s Swan Valley in 1836.

It’s Coonawarra’s second biggest producer after its main rival Wynns Estate owned by Treasury Wine Estates.

The purchase, according to Accolade Wines’ newly appointed CEO Robert Foye, would further enhance the company’s premiumization strategy by securing additional premium wine for the 2021 vintage.  

Its portfolio already includes a few premium brands such as Hardys, St Hallett and Petaluma.

 “In terms of the premium wine-growing areas of Australia where Accolade is investigating opportunities to expand its presence and sourcing, Coonawarra is definitely at the top of the list. Not only is the area a well-known premium wine region inside and outside of Australia, it also produces the kind of rich and balanced red and white varietals that the rest of the world are thirsting for,” says Foye.

Sean Shortt, Executive Director, Sales and Marketing at Wingara Wine Group, part of the international Henkell Freixenet group, said the decision to sell Katnook Estate followed a strategic review of Wingara’s wineries and brands.

“We’re pleased to have been able to reach agreement with Accolade Wines and believe Katnook Estate will be able to reach its full potential under a new owner,” Shortt said. “Henkell Freixenet considers Australia an important market with great potential and is committed to further developing its sparkling wine and wine sales here.”

The acquisition is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

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