The packaging agreement becomes effective this month, while the production activity will start with the 2014 vintage, TWE said. Production for the three Accolade brands had been carried out under a lease arrangement at the Geyser Peak Winery, which was purchased by Francis Ford Coppola in March of this year.
Accolade’s managing director, North America, Tim Matz stressed that all production aspects for its wines will remain firmly under Accolade’s control. “Our winemaker, Ondine Chattan, will continue to oversee all production and winemaking on Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak, and XYZin,” Matz said. “She will oversee sourcing, crushing, blending, and bottling. Our commitment to quality in all aspects of winemaking and production under Ondine’s leadership remains unchanged.”
Geyser Peak, the largest brand in the Accolade trio, does around 280,000 cases in the U.S. market. Atlas Peak is at around 10,000 cases, and XYZin is at about 12,000 cases. Accolade’s global portfolio also includes Hardys, Banrock Station and Kumala, among numerous other brands.
The arrangement is a first for TWE and Accolade in the United States, although the two companies do have reciprocal packaging agreements in Australia and the United Kingdom. “TWE’s increased focus on maximizing efficiencies in our global supply network has enabled us to leverage spare capacity and generate additional financial returns for our U.S operatons,” said TWE chief supply officer Stuart McNab.