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Thursday 27 November 2014

Former Screaming Eagle owner buys stake in Trinity Hill

11th February, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

Charles Banks, the former owner of cult California winery Screaming Eagle, has bought a stake in New Zealand winery Trinity Hill from its London-based owners.

Charles Banks and his wife Ali

Charles Banks and his wife Ali

Wine-Searcher reports that the US millionaire has bought a 25% stake in the Hawke’s Bay estate through his Terroir Selections company and is set to become a controlling shareholder with a 70% stake in the company.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the deal went through in November with the current majority shareholders, Robert and Robyn Wilson, owners of London restaurants The Bleeding Heart, The Don and The Sign of The Don.

The move comes as the estate has expressed an interest in expanding its global exports.

“I have been hugely impressed by the strides the New Zealand wine industry has made in the last 12 years and I feel the future is very bright.

“Trinity Hill is in a terrific position to prosper, having consistently delivered high quality wines across its range,” Banks told the New Zealand Herald.

His first move will be to build a boutique winery for the estate’s top-end reds including flagship red, Homage Syrah.

“By investing in Trinity Hill, Charles and Terroir are ensuring the long-term viability of what is one of Hawke’s Bay’s and New Zealand’s most loved wine labels,” Trinity Hill’s CEO, Michael Henley said.

Trinity Hill Homage Syrah

Trinity Hill Homage Syrah

While Trinity Hills marks Banks’ first New Zealand acquisition, in the last year he has been busy adding to his ever-expanding Terroir Selections portfolio.

Last October, Banks snapped up a majority stake in Rhône blend specialist Qupé in Santa Barbara, California, one of America’s top Syrah producers.

Earlier last year in May, Banks acquired historic Napa Valley estate Mayacamas Vineyards.

Also under the Terroir Selections umbrella are Pinot producer Sandhi in the Santa Rita Hills and Wind Gap in Sonoma.

Outside of the States, Banks also owns Mulderbosch, Fable and Marvelous Range in South Africa and Maison L’ Oree in Burgundy.

Banks famously bought Screaming Eagle in 2004 with real estate magnate Stan Kroenke, but sold his share in the winery in 2009 to set up winery investment group Terroir Capital, leaving Kroenke as the sole owner.

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