Gray Monk Winery, overlooking Okanagan Lake in Lake Country, is one of three Okanagan Valley Estate Wineries being sold. (Photo courtesy Grey Monk)

Three estate wineries changing hands

Gray Monk, Black Hills and Tinhorn Creek wineries are being sold to a single corporation

Three of the Okanagan Valley’s best-known wineries are changing hands.

Andrew Peller Limited has signed definitive agreements to purchase Black Hills Estate Winery in Oliver and Grey Monk Estate Winery in Lake Country. The company has also signed a letter of intent to acquire Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. All the transactions are expected to be complete by the end of October.

The company is purchasing the three wineries at a combined cost of $95 million and says the acquisitions pushes Andrew Peller into the largest producer of quality wines in B.C.

“My grandfather started our business in the Okanagan nearly 60 years ago, and we have always been inspired by the Valley’s promise to make wines that rival the very best in the world. We have long admired these leading estate VQA wineries and now it is a privilege to bring their ultra-premium wines and talented people into our family,” said John Peller, Andrew Peller Limited’s chief executive officer. “With our investment and resources, these wines have the potential to grow, develop and compete in the growing luxury wine market around the world.”

“Black Hills has been proud of how we have evolved our quality over the years. This new partnership allows us access to resources and tools to evolve even further,” said Glenn Fawcett, president of Black Hills Estate Winery.

Gray Monk Estate Winery is a family-owned and operated winery located in Lake Country, where the Heiss family recently celebrated 45 years of producing their award-winning Pinot Gris, along with a range of premium red and white wines.

“We’ve known the Peller family for many years and share and appreciate the same values and approach to quality winemaking. We are delighted to partner with them to continue the legacy of Gray Monk Estate Winery,” said George Heiss, co-owner of Gray Monk.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, located on the Golden Mile Bench, the Okanagan’s only sub appellation, sits among 150 acres of vineyards and the winery’s prestigious and award-winning Miradoro Restaurant. Family-owned and operated since 1993, Tinhorn Creek produces both red and white wines.

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“It has been the honour of my life to have helped build Tinhorn Creek, to make great wines with an attention to sustainability and most importantly, to run our business with empathy toward our employees, our customers and our community,” said Sandra Oldfield, CEO, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. “Andrew Peller will continue the long term development and growth in the Okanagan that we started.”

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Randy Powell, president of Andrew Peller Ltd. sees a significant opportunity for growth in the Okanagan wine region.

“Canadian consumers are becoming more and more interested in super and ultra-premium wines, and these are some of the greatest brands in the country,” Powell said. “They complement our Western Canada VQA portfolio well and will significantly strengthen our presence in the region.”

The three estate VQA wineries generated total revenues of approximately $25 million in their latest fiscal years. The purchase will be funded by a combination of $78 million in cash from the company’s credit lines and $17 million worth of Class A common shares. All three produce portfolios of consistently award-winning wines.

More information about Andrew Ellen Ltd. can be found at www.andrewpeller.com.