Viña Anakena has an outstanding reputation as a producer of world-class, distinctly Chilean wines and is a significant exporter with a presence in 50 markets, including the United States.
Accolade Wines is one of the world’s largest wine businesses, with leading Australian brands, Hardys, Grant Burge Wines and Banrock, South African Flagstone, Fish Hoek and Kumala, Californian Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak and Echo Falls and New Zealand’s Mud House and Waipara Hills.
Viña Anakena was founded in the late 1990s by two friends, Felipe Ibáñez and Jorge Gutiérrez, in Alto Cachapoal, in the cool foothills of the Andes Mountains, south of the Chilean capital Santiago. Their goal was to craft elegant, innovative and distinctly New World wines that reflected their origin and Chile’s potential as a producer of world- class fine wines.
Their goals were achieved with Viña Anakena’s wines widely acclaimed by consumers, wine writers and the trade.
The acquisition includes all the brands and inventory relating to Anakena labels, a 3000 tonne winery, a vineyard near the winery, Cellar Door and VIP tasting room.
Accolade Wines’ Chairman, Nick Greiner, said Accolade now had a presence in all key New World regions – Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, North America and South America.
“Our customer knowledge and sophisticated distribution systems will build on Anakena’s foundations, as we did with New Zealand’s Mud House, quickly building it into million case brand in the UK,” Mr Greiner said.
Accolade Wines’ will retain the current leadership team, headed by Ricardo Letelier, who will report to Accolade’s MJ Loza, head of Accolade Wines’ American business. Other senior management including Anakena’s winemaker Gavin Taylor will stay with Anakena too.
Viña Anakena, Managing Director, Ricardo Letelier, said joining the Accolade fold was an exciting time for the Chilean team.
“Accolade has a track record of looking after and growing brands,” Mr Letelier said.
“The 160 year-old Australian Hardys brand is at the heart of the business, and is the number one selling wine in the United Kingdom. Accolade has demonstrated through its acquisitions of Geyser Peak in 2012, Mud House in 2014, and Grant Burge Wines early this year, that it not only preserves the unique identity and heritage of its brands but can bring its global expertise to bear to grow brands that it brings into the company.
“We see our involvement as a significant opportunity for Anakena and our team.”
Anakena’s founders, Felipe Ibáñez and Jorge Gutiérrez, are glad to see the brand and assets they founded enter a new growth phase with Accolade at the helm.
“We are proud of our country and national wine industry and for over 15 years have enjoyed building the high quality wines and assets of Anakena. As we pass the business onto Accolade we look forward to seeing the great wines of Anakena available to more consumers in more countries. Bringing Accolade to Chile will be positive for both Anakena and the Chilean wine industry in general.”
Mr Loza welcomed Anakena’s 80 employees to the business, saying that their skills, expertise and understanding of the Chilean wine business would be invaluable to Accolade’s future growth plans.