Diageo has sold off its last significant US wine assets, completing the sale of the Chalone Estate Vineyard in California.
The FTSE-listed drinks giant has sold the US winery to Foley Family Wines, in a sale that doesn’t just include the Chalone Estate and Gavilian brands but also nearly 1,000 acres of land.
“Chalone Estate Vineyard, with its great wines and incredible history, gives our consumers and guests world class wine options along the entire coast,” said new owner Bill Foley in a statement.
Diageo has been busy offloading wine assets, with a £356m sale to Australian Treasury Wines announced in October. Brands sold to Treasury include the UK-based Percy Fox business, with brands like Blossom Hill and Piat d’Or, as well as US brands like Sterling Vineyards and Chateau and Estate Wines.
“Diageo’s strategy is to drive stronger, sustained performance through focus on our core portfolio and today’s announcement is another element of that strategy in action,” said Menezes in October.
Wine is no longer core to Diageo and this sale gives us greater focus.
Diageo bought the Chalone winery for $260m in 2004, and quickly brought sales up from 30,000 to 200,000 cases. Since this peak they have dropped by 15 per cent, to stand at 166,000 cases in 2014.