Endeavour’s fine wine business racks up another vineyard

Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy has owned Cape Mentelle since 1990.

Endeavour Group is buying one of Margaret River’s five founding wineries for a speculated $19 million.

Cape Mentelle, on over 150 hectares between Wallcliffe and Roxburgh roads, was offloaded by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy which, via its Veuve Clicquot arm, has controlled it since 1990.

Bernard Arnault replaced Elon Musk as the world’s richest person late last year.

The trade is subject to a relicense; if approved, it will be held by the four year old Paragon Wine Estates.

LVMH was co-established and is led by Bernard Arnault, who, with a net worth of c$294.7 billion, recently replaced Elon Musk as the world’s richest person.

Cape Mentelle produces cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot and shiraz.

In late 2020, a fund backed by the Paris based company sold the RM Williams business to Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Tattarang for $190m.

Cape Mentelle is Paragon’s maiden Western Australian winery.

Maiden WA vineyard

Established in 1970 by brothers David, Mark and Giles Hohnen, and originally spreading 16ha, Cape Mentelle produces cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot and shiraz from four vineyards.

It will be Paragon’s first Western Australian vineyard.

“The acquisition…was an important next step in enhancing Paragon Wine Estates’ fine wine portfolio, giving the business a premium presence in [the state],” Endeavour chief executive officer and managing director, Steve Donohue, said.

“Anyone who has tried a Cape Mentelle cabernet or chardonnay knows just how special this winery is,” he added.

“I’m excited for Cape Mentelle to join our Endeavour Group journey and help us create a more sociable future, together,” according to the executive.

Endeavour will ramp up the estate’s marketing globally.

It will also retain senior staff including estate director Penny Dickeson, viticulturist Dave Moulton and winemaker, Eloise Jarvis (story continues below).

Movie nights are held at Cape Mentelle between December and March.

Paragon keeps growing

The $11.5b Endeavour, which demerged from Woolworths Group (WOW) in mid-2021, owns BWS and Dan Murphy’s, with 1417 and 258 bottle shops respectively.

A wine tasting room at the Margaret River vineyard.

The company also has an interest in 344 pubs.

It established Paragon in 2019 with the purchase of McLaren Vale’s Chapel Hill from Switzerland’s billionaire Schmidheiny family for a speculated $20m.

Elsewhere in that area, it controls the Shingleback vineyard.

Also in South Australia, its portfolio includes the Barossa Valley’s Krondorf Wines and at Coonawarra, the Riddoch estate.

In early 2021, the Endeavour arm picked up Victoria’s Oakridge Wines, in the Yarra Valley, from ex-ASIC chairman Tony D’Aloisio and his wife, Ilana Atlas.

Last year, Paragon ventured into Tasmania, teaming with Warakirri Asset Management to purchase the Josef Chromy Wines business, which includes the 61ha Old Stornoway Vineyard.

Outside of Australia, the group holds the Isabel Estate, in Marlborough, on New Zealand’s South Island.

WOW controls 9.1 per cent of Endeavour.

That stake was 5.5pc higher until last month when it sold $636m of shares to fund the ($586m) purchase of a 55pc stake in Petspiration, which runs PETstock, with 276 stores.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.