28 March 2019: Lion’s United States-based wine business, Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, has acquired St. Helena-based Markham Vineyards and Napa Valley based TEXTBOOK wines.
Markham Vineyards and TEXTBOOK will join a Distinguished Vineyards portfolio that includes MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in Sonoma, Argyle Winery in Oregon and Wither Hills in New Zealand among a premium portfolio of wines.
Founded in 1977, Markham Vineyards was one of the first Napa Valley wineries to make luxury varietal Merlot, and also produces exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The acquisition includes the winery’s 350 acres of acclaimed Napa Valley estate vineyards in Oak Knoll, Yountville and Calistoga, the historic stone winery and tasting room dating back to 1879, as well as all inventory. Based on Distinguished Vineyards’ stellar track record of stewarding its iconic wineries in North America, Markham Vineyards was purchased from Distinguished Vineyards’ parent company, Kirin, in an internal acquisition. As part of the Distinguished Vineyards portfolio, Markham will benefit from a collaborative relationship with the MacRostie and Argyle teams, while further strengthening the winery’s sales, marketing and direct-to-consumer platforms in the United States.
David Flanary will continue to lead Markham Vineyards as its president, with accomplished Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls continuing in her role making Markham’s wines. “We are thrilled to be joining the Distinguished Vineyards family,” said Nicholls, who has made the wines at Markham for two decades. “Looking at what they have achieved at MacRostie and Argyle, it is clear that Distinguished Vineyards has an innovative and inspiring culture that values quality, while empowering employees to build on the rich legacies of their wineries.”
Adding to Distinguished Vineyards’ new Napa Valley holdings, rising star TEXTBOOK, which was founded by Jonathan and Susan Pey in 2004, was acquired from the Pey family’s Scenic Root Winegrowers. Since its founding, TEXTBOOK’s luxury Napa Valley wines have resonated with premium wine consumers, and in 2018 TEXTBOOK sales increased by 40%, with its wines reaching consumers in 46 states, and six countries. The purchase of TEXTBOOK includes the brand and all inventory. TEXTBOOK’s wines will continue to be made by Jonathan Pey in Napa Valley.
“I am very excited to partner with the Distinguished Vineyards team, many of whom I’ve worked with before,” said Jonathan Pey. “I respect what they’ve accomplished and the values and integrity with which they guide their business. TEXTBOOK has found a great home with Distinguished Vineyards.”
“We are extremely excited to be putting down roots in Napa Valley by adding these marquee wineries and vineyards to our portfolio,” said Steve Myers, managing director of Distinguished Vineyards. “We are thrilled to work with the team at Markham Vineyards to build on their four-decade legacy of excellence in bringing luxury Merlot to global prominence, and to work with the Pey family in supporting TEXTBOOK, as its wines have skyrocketed in popularity since its premiere release of Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley’s Oakville appellation fifteen years ago. For both, we will provide the resources and collaborative support needed to bring these extraordinary wineries to our customers and consumers worldwide.”
The acquisitions of Markham Vineyards and TEXTBOOK establish a powerful Napa Valley footprint for Lion-owned Distinguished Vineyards, while adding two leading varietals in luxury Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to a North America brand portfolio that also includes MacRostie and Argyle. Distinguished Vineyards has achieved significant success through its acquisitions of both MacRostie and Argyle, and its subsequent significant investments in winemaking and hospitality facilities. As a result, both wineries have been widely hailed for making the finest wines in their history.
“We are a company with a very clear mission—we work with exceptional wineries from some of the world’s most revered wine regions, and we collaborate with them to make them even better,” added Myers. “We believe that wineries thrive when there is a vibrant and diverse workplace, and principled leadership that cares about the wellbeing of its employees and surrounding communities. These values—sustainability, social equity, inclusion and industry leadership—have been the foundation of our success at Distinguished Vineyards, and they will be just as pivotal in charting the course for the future of Markham and TEXTBOOK.”
For more information, please contact Nick Hay on +61 (0)475 792917 or email@example.com
ABOUT DISTINGUISHED VINEYARDS & WINE PARTNERS
Formed in 2008, Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners is a dynamic mid-size wine company that includes a collection of iconic wineries from some of the world’s most prestigious wine regions. Recognized as benchmarks for their appellations, the Distinguished Vineyards portfolio includes the highly acclaimed Argyle Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in Sonoma County, and Markham Vineyards and TEXTBOOK in Napa Valley, as well as Wither Hills in New Zealand. Dedicated to excellence, social equity and sustainability, Distinguished Vineyards includes more than a 1,000 acres of sustainably certified estate vineyards. Wither Hills holds Sustainable Winegrowing NZ accreditation, and its estate vineyards are certified organic by BioGro NZ, Argyle in Oregon is LIVE Certified, MacRostie is Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, and Markham Vineyards is certified both Napa Green and Fish Friendly Farming. For more information, visit www.dvwinepartners.com.
ABOUT MARKHAM VINEYARDS
In 1976, wine industry pioneer Bruce Markham acquired his first 230 acres of vineyards in Napa Valley. The following year Markham Vineyards was founded, with industry pioneer Bryan Del Bondio as its first employee. In 1980, Markham made its first vintage of Napa Valley Merlot—becoming only the fourth winery in Napa Valley to make a Merlot—and a decade later, the 1990 vintage Markham Merlot was named “Merlot of the Year” by Wine Spectator. Markham celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2018, and is recognized for making benchmark Napa Valley Merlots, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from its 350 acres of acclaimed estate vineyards in Yountville, Oak Knoll and Calistoga. For more information, visit www.markhamvineyards.com.
Located in Napa, CA, TEXTBOOK was founded in 2004 by industry veterans Jonathan and Susan Pey, and produces distinctive wines from coveted Napa Valley and Oakville vineyard sites. The Pey’s European background led to TEXTBOOK's “bold-yet-balanced” winemaking style, which has made TEXTBOOK an industry-leading producer of inspiring Napa Valley wines enjoyed by discerning wine consumers across the U.S. and abroad. For more information visit www.TEXTBOOKVineyards.com.
Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners is owned by Lion, a leading beverage and food company with a portfolio that includes many of Australasia’s favourite brands in beer, wine and dairy. We employ more than 6,700 people across Australia and New Zealand predominantly and take great pride in our local manufacturing footprint, which spans 38 sites – including large breweries, craft breweries, wineries, dairy farms, milk, cheese, yoghurt and juice sites as well as venues.
Lion operates historic breweries, such as James Boag and XXXX Castlemaine Perkins, and is a leader in craft brewing, with brands such as James Squire and Malt Shovel, Little Creatures, Kosciuszko, and Furphy. Lion Australia is part of the Lion Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kirin Holdings. Kirin is a global, multi-industry food and beverages company headquartered in Tokyo.