Australian Vintage sells another key vineyard, announces Chairman’s resignation

July 11, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Seppeltsfield has successfully purchased Barossa Valley’s Lyndoch vineyard from debt-riddled Australian Vintage Limited. The sale follows on from an ASX announcement made by Australian Vintage yesterday confirming it had successfully secured a purchaser for the Belvino-owned Balranald Vineyard in the Riverina

According to Seppeltsfield’s Executive Chairman and Proprietor Warren Randall, the acquisition “is a strong addition to our already dominant position in the Barossa Valley landscape.

“China’s demand for luxury Australian wines prior to the tariffs was very strong and the Lyndoch Barossa Valley vineyard acquisition offered Seppeltsfield an opportunity to fortify our supply volumes of luxury wines for a thirsty market,” he added.

Seppeltsfield is owned by The Randall Wine Group, Australia’s largest private luxury vineyard holder spanning over 3735 acres. Seppeltsfield, its primary asset, has vineyard holdings in excess of “4,000 acres [over 1,600ha], growing 10,000 tonnes, producing nearly 10 million bottles of luxury Barossa Valley wine every year,” said Randall.

Today, Australian Vintage has also announced the immediate resignation of non-executive Chairman Richard Davis.

“On behalf of the entire Board and Executive Committee, I would like to thank Richard for his dedication and service to the company over more than 15 years,” said Peter Perrin, Acting CEO.

“He has made an invaluable contribution and will be missed.”

Australian Vintage has started its search for a new Chair and non-executive director to replace the position vacated by Richard Davis. Meanwhile, John Davies will serve as Interim non-executive Chair.

The Barossa Vineyard Lyndoch vineyard sold by Australian Vintage to Seppeltsfield is a 93 hectare plot planted to mature Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro and Grenache. Australian Vintage’s other vineyard being sold, the Balranald vineyard which was leased to Australian Vintage by Belvino, has a total vineyard size of 548 hectares and is currently responsible for an annual yield of 11,000-13,000 tonnes, which is just under 1% of the 1.43 million tonnes produced in Australia in the 2023-2024 vintage

In May, Australian Vintage cancelled its lease on the Balranald vineyard seven years ahead of its scheduled expiry date in a decision that hopes to provide the wine group with “flexibility in its sourcing strategy in a changing environment,” with expected net cash flow benefits of $12.6 million over the remaining lease term,” read yesterday’s ASX announcement. Following this, the extent of Australian Vintage’s struggle has become increasingly evident, with shares falling to lowest level since 2010 following a $15 million equity raising. Since then, the wine group has completed a secondary Retail Entitlement Offer, which raised an additional $4.9 million in capital.

The $19.9 million equity raising was initially announced after Australian Vintage entered into a trading halt at the end of last month shortly after receiving correspondence from Accolade Wines that it was no longer in a position to continue merger discussions.

Despite its current difficult positioning, Australian Vintage remains the category leader in targeted product innovation, with 37% of its total margin earned through products that didn’t exist five years ago. This includes its mid-strength McGuigan Mid range of 7% abv wines.


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