An ‘interesting phase’ ahead for Romaneira

18th January, 2013 by Gabriel Stone

Christian Seely has offered assurance that the sale of a majority stake in Quinta da Romaneira heralds a period of long-term stability and development for the Douro estate.

Quinta da Romaneira

Quinta da Romaneira

Speaking to the drinks business about the transaction, which saw investment group IDI and other shareholders sell their interest to an anonymous, non-Portuguese private buyer, co-owner Seely described the move as “a fantastic development.”

Having increased his own personal stake in the property, Seely is now the only other shareholder in Romaneira, the 400 hectare luxury hotel and wine estate which he originally became involved with as part of a 12-strong investor group in 2004. As managing director of AXA Millésimes, Seely also oversees another Douro property, Quinta do Noval.

Following a “restructure” three years ago, which saw Romaneira’s ownership reduced to six investors, Seely explained the advantages of the new, smaller management set-up.

“The principle partners before were a private equity company, who were wonderful, but they always have a short time horizon on how long they want to hold their investment,” he remarked.

In contrast, Seely described the property’s new majority stakeholder as an individual who “loves the place and loves the wines. He’s in it for the long term, as I am. It gives Romaneira the stability to carry on developing.”

Stressing his own commitment to the property, Seely said: “I will be staying for life, I hope, as a part owner of Romaneira. I’m still there, I’m still running it and that will remain the same.”

The deal, which was concluded at the end of 2012, comes at the start of what Seely described as “an interesting phase at Romaneira.”

Having inherited just 36ha of vineyard in 2004, Seely has since overseen an increase in these plantings by a further 50ha. “It’s all on grade A terroir with Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francesa, the noble varieties,” he outlined, adding: “All that is now coming on-stream.”

Emphasising “the accent at Romaneira is on high quality, Douro red wines,” Seely confirmed that the current 80% balance of table wines to 20% Port would remain at a similar level as production grows.

Currently distributed by Liberty Wines in the UK, Romaneira has established a presence in the on-trade, but, admitted Seely: “We haven’t yet hit the volumes we would like.”

However, he attributed this relatively low distribution in comparison to some of the Douro’s major producers to supply issues, remarking: “Up until a few years ago we didn’t actually have very much wine to sell.”

Despite this issue, the company is showing signs of growth, with sales now going “extremely well” in Brazil, according to Seely, who also pointed to strong performances in Portugal and Canada, with the company “just starting in the US.”

Overall, he reported: “Sales have tripled in the last few years,” describing himself as “bullish” about the estate’s future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager – London On-Trade

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Customer Service & Sales Support Executive

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Market Insight Analyst

Conviviality PLC
London, UK

Technical Manager

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more