UK – Accolade Wines, an international wine business with headquarters in South Australia, has agreed to sell its bottling and warehousing facility to Spanish glass company Encirc, for an undisclosed amount.

Accolade said the deal includes The Park facility in Bristol with all associated plant and equipment and the transfer of around 400 employees to the glass company.

The deal,expected to close in January 2023, will see the winery enter a 10-year contract bottling and distribution agreement with Encirc to ensure ongoing support for its beverage brands.

The move will “utilize rail distribution between sites and supply into retail, enabling Encirc to provide an ultra-efficient, sustainable supply chain service across the UK beverage market,” the companies said.

Encirc, which is part of Vidrala, offers a “360 services” that includes a supply chain offering for glass, filling, storage, and distribution.

It currently operates from three sites: Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, Elton, Cheshire, and Corsico, Italy, producing around four billion glass bottles and other containers annually and can fill around 200 million liters of bulk-shipped beverages every year.

Accolade Wines CEO, Robert Foye said the decision to divest The Park facility and enter a long-term bottling and distribution agreement with Encirc would deliver the “optimal supply chain structure” to support the company’s growth strategy in key markets, including the UK and Europe.

Last week, Accolade Wines also reached an agreement to sell its Brookland Valley Estate vineyard to Australian peer the Swinney family.

The sale-and-leaseback deal will see the Swinney family take over ownership and management of the Margaret River vineyard in western Australia.

Accolade Wines will lease back the vineyard, securing grape supply for its Brookland Valley Estate and Houghton brands, which it will continue to own.

Although the Swinney family will manage the 60-hectare vineyard and viticultural operations, Accolade Wines will continue to run the cellar door and Flutes restaurant on-site.

Swinney Vineyard’s chairman Matt Swinney said the acquisition aligned with the vision and long-term growth strategy of the family-owned business.

The purchase of Brookland Valley vineyard brings the Swinney portfolio to more than 265 hectares, across the Frankland River and Margaret River regions.

Mr.Foye is reported to have said drinkers in Europe and Britain are already changing their behavior as cost-of-living increases bite, with restaurant sales the first to feel the pinch.

This could be the reason why the wine group is reducing its assets in the category that is poised to continue to witness growth. However, Mr.Foye noted the company is in a strong position to withstand any extended economic downturn because the portfolio covers the full spectrum, from premium wines to value offerings.

In August, the group disposed of its Nannup winery to Fogarty Wine Group.

In July, it sold its Beenak Vineyard in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley to Treasury Wine Estates for around US$5m and

In the same July, the group offloaded 155 acres of vineyards near the McLaren Vale to Randall Wine Group.

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