McWilliam's Wines aftermath: Introducing the new owners
Season 6 of the Drinks Adventures podcast featured a documentary episode on The Rise and Fall of McWilliam's Wines.
There are some loose ends for us to tie up, as the 143-year-old company's anticipated sale to Prcstnt Asset Management ultimately fell over.
In this episode, you’ll meet the winery’s new owner, Calabria Family Wines, which was established in the Riverina in 1945 by Italian immigrants Francesco and Elisabeth Calabria, and is today led by second generation family member, Bill Calabria AM.
Bill is still on the winemaking team today, and he joins us this episode along with his sons Andrew Calabria, the company’s sales and marketing manager, and Michael Calabria, general manager.
The year 2022 was pivotal for Calabria, as the company acquired the McWilliam’s Wines brand and Hanwood Winery along with Deakin Estate and La La Land Wines, cementing it among the largest family-owned wine groups in Australia.
Vintners & Co. Merchants is the new distribution arm of the company representing Calabria Family Wines’ international distribution partnerships and includes the Italian brands Fontanafredda, Canti and Librandi, prestigious Portugal port house Dow’s, Argentinian winery Dona Paula, and renowned French champagne producer Champagne Deutz.
“We have rapidly expanded from a single producer-owned and operated wine company to a wine group housing some of Australia’s best-loved wine brands and a selection of diverse international wine distribution partnerships," Andrew Calabria said in a statement.
The new brands and products will be serviced by the Calabria Family Wine Group sales team, which has added seven new members, mainly from McWilliam’s Wines.
Calabria also appointed sixth generation family member, Scott McWilliam, as global brand ambassador for the McWilliam's brand.
And first up this episode, I asked Scott what had happened since that supposed 2020 sale of McWilliam's, which seemed like a done deal.