Randall Wine Group, which owns the historic Seppeltsfield Estate winery in the Barossa Valley, has acquired the Penny’s Hill winery in McLaren Vale as it shifts its focus from China.
The decision to reposition the group follows China placing prohibitive tariffs on Australian wine exports. Two-thirds of Australian wine producers have given up on selling to China since the taxes were introduced last year.
“In 180 years, the Australian wine industry has never suffered such a setback,” owner Warren Randall told WBM Online
“Following a very high quality vintage in 2021 it was time to reset the company’s strategy and pivot away from the Chinese market. Which is a shame because the Chinese wine consumer loves the fruit and taste profile omnipresent in Australian wines.”
Randall said the acquisition was the first in a new strategy built around acquiring smaller premium brands in Australia that have a strong export focus to countries other than China.
In its previous 10 year strategy, the Randall Wine Group was in the process of selling 50% of its annual wine made to China as both premium bulk and bottled wine. The new 10 year strategy is now based around the acquisition of 50,000 to 100,000 dozen branded cases in Australia’s premium wine growing districts, with a strong export sales focus.
Penny’s Hill winery was established in 1988 by Tony and Susie Parkinson and has labels including Penny’s Hill, Black Chook and Thomas Goss. It generates annual sales of about 50,000 cases of wine, the equivalent of 600,000 bottles. Around 60% of its wines are exported to 15 countries, and has a strong foothold in North America, particularly Canada.
The winery was put on the market in November after Parkinson announced plans to retire.
“In the face of advancing years and with no clear family succession plan, it was time to find a new custodian for the 1855 estate,” Parkinson said.
“Warren has a proven track record of acquiring, respecting and injecting enthusiasm and energy into historic 19th-century Australian wine estates with provenance. I trust that he will carry on my legacy and springboard the brands to greater international success under his leadership.”