Saturday, February 14, 2009

Who owns what--a guide to wine brands

That interesting new wine brand you saw at the store the other day--is it an independent, artisanal operation, or is it the brainchild of a megacorporation's marketing department?

Large wine corporations are capable of making good, even great wines, so the mere fact that Brand X is in fact owned by MegaCorp Y does not necessarily mean that the Brand X wine will be no good. But large corporations are rarely adventurous or innovative, at least when it comes to consumer products. Given the choice between a $10 bottle from some genuinely small operation we have never heard of, and a $10 bottle from, say, the E&J Gallo family of products, we will always opt for the former on the grounds that we are much more likely to discover something new, interesting, even challenging.

Below you will find a list of most of the brands owned, produced or distributed by the major players in the wine industry. If there is sufficient demand, we can develop a tri-fold wallet size card for you. In the meantime, use this list as a field guide next time you are out shopping for wine.

As always, your comments are welcome. Have you tried any of the brands below? What have been your experiences? Do you wonder who really owns a new brand you have seen? If you can't find it on the list below, zap us a note and we will do our best sleuthing to get you an answer.

Nota bene: this list was compiled in February 2009. While we strived for accuracy we cannot guarantee that the list is free of errors, and we apologize for any errors herein. Change is rapid in the wine world, and doubtless many of the brands below will have or soon will vanish, change hands, be joined by sister brands, etc.

E&J Gallo owns, produces and/or distributes
Martin Codax (Spain)
Don Miguel Gascon (Argentina)
Alamos (Chile)
Ecco Domani (Italy)
Bella Sera (Italy)
Sebeca (South Africa)
Red Bicyclette (France)
Da Vinci (Italy)
Black Swan (Australia)
Redwood Creek
Gallo of Sonoma/Gallo Family
Frei Brothers
MacMurray Ranch
Napa Valley Vineyards
Marcelina
Anapamu
Indigo Hills
Andre
Ballatore
Boone's Farm
Turning Leaf
Peter Vella
Carlo Rossi
Twin Valley
William Hill
Canyon Road
Louis M Martini
Martha Stewart Vintage
Barefoot Cellars

The Wine Group owns, produces and/or distributes
Franzia
Fish Eye
Big House
Corbett Canyon
Glen Ellen
Foxhorn
Mogen David
Almaden
Ingelnook
Concannon
Cupcake Cellars
Pinot Evil
Herding Cats
Italian Casarsa
MG Vallejo
Morassutti

Constellation Brands owns, produces and/or distributes
Robert Mondavi Winery
Woodbridge by Mondavi
Franciscan Estates
Clos du Bois
Arbor Mist
Mount Veeder
Simi
Estancia
Inniskillin (Canada)
Drylands (NZ)
Kim Crawford (NZ)
Tintara (Australia)
Ruffino (Italy)
Black Box
Nobilo (NZ)
Ravenswood
Blackstone
Toasted Head
RH Phillips
Hogue
Alice White
Cook's
Talus
Vendange
Monkey Bay
Rex Goliath
Turner Road

Bronco Wine Company owns, produces, and/or distributes
Forestville
Estrella
Montpellier
Grand Cru
Silver Ridge
Rutherford Vintners
Hacienda
Fox Hollow
Napa Ridge
Harlow Ridge
Santa Barbara Landing
Fat Cat
Crane Lake
Forest Glen
Foxbrook
JW Morris
Quail Ridge
Sea Ridge
Charles Shaw
Napa Creek

Fosters owns, produces and/or distributes
Beringer
Lindeman's (Australia)
Wolf Blass (Australia)
Penfolds (Australia)
Rosemount (Australia)
Wynns Coonawarra Estate (Australia)
Etude
Stags' Leap Winery
St Clement
Chateau St Jean
Souverain
Asti
Meridian
Bohemian Highway
Festival 34

Trinchero Family Estates owns, produces and/or distributes
Sutter Home
Napa Cellars
Folie a Deux
Fre
Montevina (being renamed Terra D'Oro)
Trinity Oaks
Trinchero
Reynolds
Little Boomey (Australia)
Three Thieves
The Show
Wild Bunch
True Earth
Red Belly Black (Australia)
Paul Newman
Jargon
Sea Glass

Ste Michelle Wine Estates owns, produces and/or distributes
Chateau/Domaine Ste Michelle
Columbia Crest
Snoqualmie
Northstar
Stimson Estate
Red Diamond
Eroica
Col Solare
Conn Creek
Villa Mt Eden
14 Hands Winery
Distant Bay Winery
Erath
Vineyard 10

Diageo Chateaux & Estates owns, produces or distributes
Beaulieu Vineyard
Sterling
Solaris
Century Cellars
Acacia
Moon Mountain
FE Trimbach
Barton & Guestier
Chalone
Edna Valley
Rosenblum
Navarro Correas (Argentina)
Alma Viva (Chile)
Sacred Hill (NZ)
Canoe Ridge
Jade Mountain
Sagelands
Echelon
Provenance
Hewitt
Orogeny
Dynamite
Archetype (Australia)
New Harbor (NZ)
Stellina di Notte (Italy)

Jackson Family Wines owns, produces and/or distributes
Kendall-Jackson
White Rocket
Cardinale
Atalon
Lokoya
Carmel Road
Cambria
Hartford Court/Hartford Family
Matanzas Creek
La Crema
Stonestreet
Verite
Archipel
Freemark Abbey
Arrowood
Murphy-Goode
La Jota
Pelton House
Kinton
Maggy Hawk
Highland Estates
Byron
Edmeades
Calina

Delicato owns, produces and/or distributes
Delicato
Bota Box
King Fish
Night Owl
Twisted
Gnarly Head
Chateau Maris (France)
Joe Blow
Loredona
Brazin
Foghead
337
Irony
Clay Station

Terlato Wines International owns, produces and/or distributes
Alderbrook
Baglio di Pianetto
Bodega Tamari
Bollinger
Boutari
Brandlin
Ca' del Bosco
Ca'Marcanda
Chanson
Chimney Rock
Cuvaison Estate Wines
Domaine Tournon
Episode
Ernie Els Wines
Gaja
Galaxy
Giarrusso
Glass Mountain
Hanna
Il Poggione
Josmeyer
Kettmeir
Langlois-Chateau
Luke Donald Collection
M. Chapoutier
Markham
Martinez
Mazzoni
Mischief & Mayhem
Nonino
Olvera
Peller Estates
Rochioli
Rust en Vrede
Rutherford Hill
Sanford
Santa Margherita
Seven Daughters

Sokol Blosser
Tangley Oaks
Terlato Family Vineyards
Terlato-Chapoutier

Gunns Limited owns, produces and/or distributes
Tamar Ridge Kayena Vineyard
Devil's Corner

36 comments:

  1. Jackson Family owns more wines than one the list including: Carmel Road, Highland Estates, Byron, Edmeades, Calina, in total more than 30 wine brands

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the additions to the list, Anonymous. Please keep them coming.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Any reason why you are not including Terlato International in your list?

    They produce and distribute a lot of great and popular wines like Chimney Rock, Sokol Blosser (Evolution), Cuvaison, Sanford, Markham/Glass Mountain, Wairu River and Bollinger. Plus a lot of others that I can't remember off the top of my head.

    I am not a fan or a detractor of their wines but I have to consider them in my inventory.

    ReplyDelete
  4. BTW, I enjoy your site and this ownership/distribution is a great resource for quick reference.

    I posted the Terlato note and am not the one with the Jackson post.

    Keep up the great work!

    Michael

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the Terlato tip and the encouragement, Michael. We don't know how we left Terlato out, either, but we shall remedy that directly.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Many thanks for this valuable information. Am always happy to support the people rather than the suits.
    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  7. Can you please add what brands Gunns Limited owns? There are many people who would like to have that information?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous, I'll add in what I found poking through the Gunns Limited website. If you know of any other brands they own, please let us know.

    ReplyDelete
  9. can you distinguish between "owns" and "distributes"? Theres quite a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You raise a good point, Anonymous. But it would take hours to go through all these brands making that distinction. If you have any specific questions, e.g., does Terlato own or distribute Hanna, I'll be happy to try to answer them.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This has proved to be our most popular post ever, with most of the traffic coming from search engines. Clearly, "Who owns what" is something that folks want to know.

    Here's something we'd like to know--what brought you to this page? If there was a particular question, e.g., who owns Redwood Creek? please tell us! Or if you simply wanted to know all the brands in the K-J empire, or what! We want to know.

    So if you come to this page (and read down this far), please take a moment to tell us what brought you here. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heh. I was searching a little differently than most, looking for a brand that began with F and I couldn't remember the rest. (Forestville)

      Delete
  12. I was all set to ask about who owns Black Box Wines, then in the boxed wines commentary, you said it was Constellation-perhaps the boxed wines can go in the lists with their owners/distributors and have "box" annotated?

    ReplyDelete
  13. stumbled upon this site searching on google "wines under the kendall- jackson company", was simply curious. will definitely be printing this out and keeping it in mind, had no idea a lot of the wines i thought were boutique wines are actually owned by mega corporations. thanks for the information

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is something of a technical distinction, but those with more than a passing interest in the business might be interested: Terlato doesn't actually "distribute" any wines. It is the marketing and sales agent for many of the brands you list (as well as importer for the non-domestic brands). As such, it works with a network of distributors to bring the wines to market. In essence, it becomes a fourth tier in what is typically a three-tier system (producer, distributor, retailer). Wineries partnering with Terlato are thus able—at the cost of a margin going to Terlato, of course—to have far slimmer sales, marketing and public relations staff themselves, and, perhaps more importantly, theoretically more attention from the distributor than they would be able to gain on their own.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Pete, many thanks for making that important distinction. I knew the Terlato deal was odd, but I did not know the specifics. Your explanation is helpful.

    Anonymous, adding boxed wines is a good idea. With harvest around the corner, not sure when I'll find time. Black Box is already on the list, however. Or am I missing something?

    Other anonymous--glad you found the list useful. The comments here contain many useful caveats but we applaud your desire to seek out the genuinely smaller producers. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Can you tell me whether these brands are indie or corporate:

    J. Lohr
    Ferrari-Carrero
    Bernardus
    Grgich Hills
    Niebaum-Coppola (still indie?)
    Domaine Serene
    Gnarly Head
    Layer Cake
    Silver Gap
    Silver Oak Cellars

    ReplyDelete
  17. To the best of my knowledge, J. Lohr, Ferrari-Carano, Bernardus, Grgich Hills, Niebaum-Coppola and Domaine Serene are all independent. I believe that Gnarly Head is owned by Delicato Family Vineyards, which despite still being run by the Indelicato family seems to be big enough to be considered corporate, rather than independent.
    Layer Cake is owned by Jayson Woodbridge, whose Hundred Acre wines go for big bucks. But I suppose it still counts as independent. Silver Oak is independent.
    Silver Gap I had not heard of before, and I have not yet managed to find any information on it. When I do, I'll let you know. I hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Big news today. The Fetzer empire has been sold by Brown-Forman to Vina Concha y Toro. This includes Fetzer, Bonterra, Little Black Dress, Jekel, Five Rivers, Bel Arbor, Coldwater Creek, and Sanctuary.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Since you asked, I came to your site to find out who owns Red Diamond. I knew a lot of wineries were owned by big brands, but seeing them all on a list is kind of depressing...like finding out a favorite neigborhood restaurant is actually a chain. Thanks for posting this information so clearly. The only suggestion I'd make is maybe alphabetize, since there are so many names...make them easier to find. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for stopping by, Anonymous. I agree with you that alphabetizing would help. Not sure I'll find the time.

    I share your disappointment about the vastness of the list. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I had heard a fun story as to the ownership of Cupcake involving a divorce and a vindictive ex-wife. ( I am not judging, just saying.) I believe your site has told me it was just a story.

    ReplyDelete
  22. There may be something to it, though. A lot of these brands are dreamt up in marketing departments, but some start out as independents and then get bought/sell out depending on your perspective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another tactic is when the winery and name is bought, the name is kept, and everything else slod off. That's happened in this county to Estrella and Corbett Canyon.

      Delete
  23. Delicato owns, produces and/or distributes:
    Delicato (this is now Domino brand)
    Bota Box
    King Fish - discontinued
    Night Owl - discontinued
    Twisted
    Gnarly Head
    Chateau Maris (France) - discontinued
    Joe Blow - discontinued
    Loredona
    Brazin
    Foghead
    337
    Irony
    Clay Station - discontinued
    Wines not on your list for DFV - Delicato Family Vineyards:
    181 - Merlot
    446 - Chardonnay
    667 - Pinot Noir
    Massimo
    HandCraft - coming soon

    ReplyDelete
  24. I work at a small winery in Napa Valley, have been selling "fine" wine forever (over 2 decades) and want to thank you for this objective list. Folks need to know so they can think a bit more for themselves. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Fabulous! Thanks for the list. I'm opening a wine store in Boston and I'm sick and tired of the small family owned and operated vineyard not getting their due. If a winery sells out to one of the "big guys" you know the quality is going to suffer. The wine maker is no longer focused on making wine but meeting a bottom line, having to maximizing profit and cut corners. These companies are responsible for the current state of the New World palate, all of the wines taste the same, over extracted, high alcohol, slam you in the face fruit and no lingering finish.
    Such a shame. Big money big wines!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the comment, John. Great luck with your store. Stand up for the small producers!

    ReplyDelete
  27. love the list! Please consider making this a area that you update frequently. I love the central coast of California, and it seems the area is slowly going corporate as well.....Bridlewood, Justin, Cambria and others have either sold out to rich folk, or big corporations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ken, Thanks for the encouragement. I wish I had the time and resources to keep this list current, and I wish more people were as aware as you of the growing corporatization of the wine producing world. I would be happy to pass this baton off to anyone who has the time and energy.
      Matt

      Delete
  28. If anyone is concerned that the winery you're planning to visit/purchase bottles from is owed by a corporation or parent company, my advice is to ask a person in the tasting room over the phone or during your visit who the owners are and if it's an independent operation. I work for a small producer in the Alexander Valley and I'm always proud to tell our guests about the owners - one of which is also our winemaker. Stick to the small producers and drink happy everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks, John. Please feel free to let our readers know what winery you work for, if you wish. I'm sure some would like to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Should you add Kobrand? I don't know if they own everything they distribute, but I know they have an ownership steak in at least some of them.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for the suggestion, Anonymous. What Kobrand actually owns remains mysterious to me. They sure have their hands in a lot of properties. At any rate, I am no longer maintaining this list. If anyone else wants to take it on, please do so!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sacred hil is australia not nz

    ReplyDelete

 
Wine Blogger Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.