Chapel Hill winery acquired by wine arm of leading Aussie supermarket

Chapel Hill winery in McLaren Vale has been acquired by Endeavour Drinks, a subsidiary of Australian supermarket chain Woolworths, for an undisclosed sum.

Chapel Hill will become part of a Endeavour Drinks’ new wine division called Paragon Wine Estates and will sit alongside its existing portfolio of wine brands including Krondorf (Barossa Valley), Isabel Estate (Marlborough) and Riddoch (Coonawarra).

Chapel Hill was previously owned by privately-held Swiss company Permafix.

Managing director of Endeavour Drinks, Steve Donohue, said the acquisition was an “important step” in further enhancing the company’s wine division ahead of an upcoming AU$10 billion merger, announced in June, which will see Endeavour Drinks and hospitality group ALH merge in 2020 to become a standalone business.

Donohue added: “Welcoming Chapel Hill to the group has inspired the creation of Paragon Wine Estates and is an exciting new element of our diverse Pinnacle Drinks business.

“These great wine producers deserve special attention. Each one has a rich history and unique traditions which form the basis of their wonderful stories. We hope to share those stories with wine lovers the world over.”

Endeavour’s Pinnacle Drinks operation also includes grape growing partnerships across Australia and New Zealand, winemaking and storage facilities in Barossa and Marlborough and packaging and bottling facilities in Barossa and McLaren Vale.

The team at Chapel Hill and its grape growing contracts will remain unchanged, according to head winemaker and CEO Michael Fragos.

He said: “Over the past five years we have enjoyed a very close and successful working relationship with Endeavour Drinks. The team at Chapel Hill now enthusiastically look forward to working with the Endeavour team to continue to enhance the wonderful reputation and pedigree that Chapel Hill has garnered since it was established in 1971.”

Chapel Hill, located near the Onkaparinga Gorge, first planted vines in 1972 with its first vintage in 1975. The sale includes its cellar door, chapel building dating to 1865, a guest house, 40 hectares of vines and other facilities.

Endeavour Drinks also owns alcohol retailers Dan Murphy’s and BWS, wine auctioneer Langtons, and online wine store Cellarmasters.

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