It’s a joyous day for wine lovers – Calabria Family Wines has acquired a piece of Australian wine history with the purchase of McWilliam’s Wines.
It follows a tumultuous 15 months for the iconic McWilliams brand, which went into voluntary administration in January 2020 after being in operation for more than 141 years across six generations of family ownership.
In July, creditors owed $40 million voted overwhelmingly in favour of a buyout by Prcstnt. However, Prcstnt failed to provide the cash to close the deal and the winemaker went back on the market in December.
Real estate agents from Colliers International were reappointed to sell the business and assets of McWilliam’s Wines Group as a going concern or separately.
The sale to Calabria, which is set to be complete by April 30, was announced today by KPMG and selling agent Colliers International.
“Local members of the McWilliam family are pleased that the Hanwood winery and the McWilliam’s Wines business will continue under the control of the Calabria family and that their passion for the local region, brands and history of the company will continue under their family ownership,” fifth-generation Greg McWilliam said. “We have had a close and enduring relationship over many years and look forward to working with the Calabria family in the future.”
The Griffith-based Calabria family will take ownership of the McWilliam’s brands, intellectual property, and stock holdings as well as the Hanwood vineyard, winery and cellar door.
“It is a great honour for our family to become the proud custodians of Australian winemaking history with the purchase of McWilliam’s Wines. Despite recent challenges, we know the McWilliam’s name carries a long and prestigious reputation as one of Australia’s oldest wine producers,” General Manager Michael Calabria said.
McWilliam’s was established in 1877 and has become one of Australia’s leading family-owned wineries. With six consecutive generations of winemakers and over 140 years of experience, McWilliam’s has established a range of premium vineyard holdings across the Riverina and New South Wales.
“We have great respect for the McWilliam family and the impact they have had on the Australian wine industry,” Sales & Marketing Manager Andrew Calabria said. “Dad (Bill Calabria, AM) loves sharing stories about the pioneering family and often spends an afternoon chatting and visiting with Jim McWilliam (96 years). We are committed to honouring the McWilliam’s legacy as we bring their portfolio of outstanding wines into our very own.”
As part of the transition process, Calabria Family Wines will work with KPMG and McWilliam’s to ensure a smooth transition as the business changes hands.