Vasse Felix confirms Watershed purchase
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Margaret River winery Vasse Felix is set to acquire the principal assets of Watershed Premium Wines, under a $20 million deal that allows Watershed’s cellar door and restaurant to continue operating under a two-year lease agreement.
The deal, which is subject to Watershed shareholder approval, will give Vasse Felix immediate control of the 80-hectare Watershed vineyard on Bussell Highway south of Margaret River.
The acquisition will take Vasse Felix's total vineyard area to more than 300ha across four sites in the Margaret River-Cowaramup wine region.
The move comes after Vasse purchased a 37.5ha vineyard parcel from Watershed for $3.3 million three years ago.
"The fruit has proven to be excellent, particularly the chardonnay, so for us the opportunity to expand this asset is really exciting.
“Like a lot of people in the wine business, I’ve been really impressed with what Geoff (Barrett) and his team have done with Watershed.
“They’ve been making really good wines for many years, the buildings are beautiful, and the setting is really striking.”
The company said the acquisition would increase production by up to 10 per cent.
Managing director Geoff Barrett founded Watershed in 1999.
“It’s naturally sad to be selling the Watershed Vineyard, but we’re delighted a leading, local winery is taking it over,” Mr Barrett said.
“We’ll continue to market our award winning wines and operate our very successful cellar door and restaurant for now.”
Vasse Felix is ranked as WA's sixth largest wine producer, according to the BNiQ Search Engine, while Watershed is ranked as the 12th largest.