Winery and Distillery
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 Walla Walla and Yakima to the Columbia Valley. 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 as still in their infancy, but both are growing quickly. It is anticipated that mergers & acquisitions in this space will also grow in the next decade. IBA is currently gaining industry specific knowledge & experience in this area and we are confident that like in many other industries our brokers will emerge as the market leaders in terms of knowledge and professionalism for entrepreneurs wishing to sell their businesses or grow by acquisition. 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 sale.