September 12, 2017 9:19 pm

Peller deal highlights heightened investor interest in Okanagan wine industry

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It’s a major investment in the Okanagan wine industry.

Andrew Peller Limited is buying Gray Monk Estate Winery, Black Hills Estate Winery and has a letter of intent to purchase Tinhorn Creek Vineyards.

The total purchase price is $95 million.

“I know it looks like a mad shopping spree at the last minute but it is anything but that,” said John Peller, CEO of Andrew Peller Ltd.

The deal makes Andrew Peller Ltd. the largest producer of wine in B.C.

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Jan Nelson, Director of Sales and Marketing at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, said the Okanagan wine industry has a bright future.

“I think people are really looking at the potential of B.C. and seeing what the next step for the industry is.”

Tinhorn Creek Estate Winery, on the Black Sage Bench near Oliver, has been family owned and operated for more than two decades.

They said there is heightened investor interest in the Okanagan to take small wineries to the next level.

“You are seeing quite a few new investors coming into the valley, as well some money from overseas, but also some consolidation within the valley,” Nelson said.

Investor-owned Black Hills Estate winery said the infusion of investment capital in the Okanagan will make a splash.

“Better quality wine being produced creates more international attention, brings more tourists to the valley, and I feel continues to grow the wine tourism industry,” said President Glenn Fawcett.

Gray Monk in Lake Country has been owned by the Weiss family since 1972.

Known as the Godfather of Gris, Gray Monk was the first grower of pinot gris grapes in the region.

Peller said the three well-established wineries will continue to operate as usual with a little extra cash for development and expansion “and maybe to help with some sales and marketing investments but to leave them alone and let them run their own show.”

The company said it will cheers to the next chapter by this fall when the deals are expected to close.

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