"Our transaction with Erik McLaughlin from Metis was thoroughly professional. Metis has exceptional attention to detail and handled the process with precision. Erik immersed himself into our business and articulated a complex business transaction to a diverse group of interested parties. I now understand why he has so much respect among those interested in winery and vineyard acquisitions."
- David O'Reilly, Owner of Owen Roe
Owen Roe is a vertically integrated winery founded by David and Angelica O’Reilly in 1999. They produce over 60,000 cases annually and have vineyard holdings in the Yakima Valley of Washington and Willamette Valley in Oregon. The Washington properties are owned, while the Oregon property is an owned vineyard on a long-term land lease. The company’s primary winemaking facility is in Wapato, Washington, but they additionally have made Oregon wines at a smaller facility in the Willamette Valley for twenty years.
The Company sells direct-to-consumer from both Washington and Oregon tasting rooms and an extensive wine club. They are distributed across 46 states in the US, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, China, Japan, South Korea, and Bermuda. The Company sells wine under three brands, Owen Roe, Corvidae, and Sharecropper. Owen Roe is one of the most critically acclaimed wineries in the Pacific Northwest with well over 300 scores between 90 and 97 points from the major wine press.
The Company has been co-owned David and Angelica O’Reilly and a financial partner. The financial partner desired to divest their interest to focus on other business ventures, while the O’Reilly’s remained interested in maintaining a relationship with Owen Roe. As the founder and head winemaker, David O’Reilly’s continued involvement was also critical to the future success of the business. Both parties were interested in a transaction that would provide the financial partner liquidity while bringing in a new investor who had the capital capacity and sales resources to allow the brands to continue to grow.
The Company operates an extensive portfolio of wines across a broad platform of brands. They also have physical plants in two states and farm vineyards across 3 separate properties, so a buyer would need to be interested in a complex business with many moving parts.
Through the firm’s deep ties in the global wine industry, Metis identified and contacted several potential buyers which included national and international winery operators, financial entities, and regional agricultural enterprises. There was interest from a variety of buyer types, with the best fit being found with Vintage Wine Estates.
Vintage Wine Estates is a privately held wine company founded by a group of vintner families with deep roots in the wine business. VWE owns a collection of winery estates and brands including Clos Pegase, Girard, Delectus, Swanson, Cosentino, Cherry Pie (Napa), B.R. Cohn, Sonoma Coast Vineyards, Windsor Vineyards (Sonoma), Qupé, Laetitia, Clayhouse, Alloy Wine Works, Purple Cowboy (Central Coast), Firesteed, Tamarack Cellars, Buried Cane (Pacific Northwest), Game of Thrones, Cameron Hughes, Layer Cake, Middle Sister, Bar Dog, Girl & Dragon, Splinter Spirits, No. 209 Gin and a number of exclusive wine brands. An industry leader across all sales channels and dedicated to providing wine consumers with a range of wines from $10 to $150.
Through extensive conversations, the O’Reillys came to really like and trust team at VWE and were excited about what their well-resourced sales abilities would offer to continue growing Owen Roe.
Though terms of the deal are not disclosed, Vintage Wine Estates purchased 100% of the assets of Owen Roe including real estate, winemaking facilities, vineyards, brands, equipment, inventory, leases, and supply contracts. All employees were retained by Vintage Wine Estates. Founder David O’Reilly will remain at the helm of Owen Roe and will fill the newly created position of Regional Winemaking Director, overseeing winemaking for VWE’s portfolio in the Pacific Northwest including Tamarack Cellars in Walla Walla and Firesteed in the Willamette Valley.