Fiji Water Billionaire Resnick Buys Sonoma Winery

on 03/08/11 at 8:21 am

Industry

Billionaire Stewart Resnick, owner of California citrus and pistachio farms and brands including Fiji Water, bought Sonoma Valley’s Landmark Vineyards as deals for premium-wine properties rebound.

Resnick may double production of Landmark’s highly regarded chardonnay “over a period of time, consistent with quality,” he said in an Aug. 1 telephone interview, a day before completing the purchase of the 18-acre (7.3-hectare) property in Kenwood, California, about 55 miles (88 kilometers) north of San Francisco. It was Resnick’s second vineyard purchase in less than a year, and the price wasn’t disclosed.

“This is a very good winemaker, and fits the profile we were looking for: affordable luxury,” said Resnick, chairman of Roll Global Corp., the Los Angeles-based holding company for Fiji Water, Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice and other food brands. “It’s not the very high-end, but the middle high-end, and good quality for the value. And, it was for sale.”

Sales of U.S. vineyards and wineries are increasing a year after bottoming in the wake of the financial crisis, said William Stevens, wine division manager at Santa Clara, California-based Silicon Valley Bank. U.S. wine deals totaled about $430 million through July, according to wine broker and investment adviser Zepponi & Co. in Santa Rosa, California.

{FULL STORY via Bloomberg}

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