The Pacific Northwest wine industry can trace its roots back to 1825 when wine grapes were planted at Fort Vancouver by the Hudson Bay Company. From this humble beginning, wine grape cultivation was spread throughout the region by French, German, and Italian immigrants who desired varietals of wine found in their native countries. The climate, soil, and fact that the Pacific Northwest includes the prime wine growing area between the 45th and 50th latitudes like France’s Cotes du Rhone, Italy’s Piedmont, and Germany’s Mosel Valley rewarded their efforts with quality grapes & wine. Today, Washington ranks second in the United States for premium wine production with the state industry generating approximately $9 billion annually in revenue. Oregon, known for producing some of the best Pinot Noir’s in the world, has over 400 wineries and a wine industry that generates approximately $3 billion in annual revenue.
Washington & Oregon both currently have numerous American Viticultural Areas or AVA’s. The Washington wine appellations are Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Puget Sound, Red Mountain, Columbia Gorge, Horse Heaven Hills, Wahluke Slope, Rattlesnake Hills, Snipes Mountain, Lake Chelan, Naches Heights, and Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley. The Oregon AVA’s are Applegate Valley, Chehalem Mountains, Columbia Gorge, Columbia Valley, Dundee Hills, Elkton Oregon, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Red Hill Douglas County, Ribbon Ridge, Rogue Valley, Snake River Valley, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Willamette Valley, and Yamhill-Carlton. Each year grapes grown in these area are turned into wines that compete successfully internationally for gold medals.
Mergers & acquisitions follow successful entrepreneurship by privately held companies & family owned businesses. This has occurred in the Pacific Northwest wine industry with IBA professionals serving as trusted advisers & transaction facilitators to winery owners from Woodinville to Yakima and East to Walla Walla in Washington and throughout the Columbia & Willamette Valleys of Oregon. Uniquely qualified to assist the industry as brokers that can jointly evaluate and represent the business entity & real estate, IBA professionals can be frequently be found facilitating buyer tours of vineyards and conducting meetings in tasting rooms where the product being sold is not a bottle, but multiple years of vintages, acres of grapes, and brands coveted by collectors.
The craft distillery industries in Washington & Oregon are following the wine industry in becoming strong national players in terms of quality and the geographic area of distribution. Robust mergers & acquisitions activity in this space has already commenced with IBA gaining recognition as a knowledgeable, highly skilled intermediary firm for transactions based on our successful achievement of multiple sales since the start of the current decade. We would welcome the opportunity to talk with any entrepreneurs in this space that would like to discuss business valuation, growth by acquisition, staging a business for future sale, or executing an exit strategy for a strong market value in a transaction facilitated in an environment of confidentiality employing best practices.
I recently sold my craft distillery in Southwest Washington. I engaged IBA and specifically Jeff Bryan to handle the process. I was impressed with his knowledge of the industry and his sincere eagerness to help me. He has a very good appreciation of a sellers and buyers way of thinking and he is very easy to talk to. I was surprised with the success of his marketing as we received a very lot of interest rather quickly and through his vetting process we had a half dozen serious buyers and investors who toured the facility within the first few months. We ended up with three solid offers with one eventually culminating in the purchase/sale of my business. The process required coordination not only with the seller and the buyer but with state and federal agencies including the TTB. We also had to deal with the COVID-19 situation. Jeff remained calm and focused. He maintained a mantra: focus on each issue and get it resolved, be creative and always positive yet always move forward. I am quite happy with the representation I received from Jeff. He knows his business and was always polite and professional. He is an easy person to like. I would work with him again with no question.
Former Owner of Double V Distillery
Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding the representation we provide our clients or if you would like to schedule a time to meet with an IBA associate with experience in the sale of a winery or distillery.