“Metis’ persistence, determination, and professionalism throughout the entire process was instrumental in guiding us through this formidable process. Erik and his team knew we wanted to take care of our employees and our customers above all, and they helped us negotiate a deal that makes sense for everyone. We are turning over our company with peace of mind and we absolutely couldn’t have done this without them.”
– Ron Coleman, Founder of Tamarack Cellars
Tamarack Cellars is one of Walla Walla’s pioneering wineries, founded in 1998 by Ron and Jamie Coleman in a historic World War II Firehouse at the Walla Walla Airport district. Tamarack is known for producing high scoring wines that consistently over-deliver for its price points. It has been selected by the Wine Spectator for its annual list of the TOP 100 Wines in the World three times. Tamarack produces 25,000 cases annually and is distributed in 30 states.
Jamie Coleman recently retired from her Ophthalmology practice and after over 30 years in the wine business (20 years building Tamarack) it was time for Ron Coleman to join his wife in retirement.
Tamarack Cellars recently expanded its capacity with the construction of a new production facility. The objective was to find a buyer with the financial and distribution capabilities to take advantage of the additional production capacity and take sales of the brand to the next level.
Through the firm’s deep ties in the global wine industry, Metis identified and contacted several potential buyers. There was significant interest in the marketplace with offers tendered by five parties which included regional, national, and international strategics as well as financial buyers. The client, with guidance from Metis, weighed several considerations including price, terms, and company culture, and ultimately selected Vintage Wine Estates.
Vintage Wine Estates is a privately held wine company based in Santa Rosa, CA and owned by a group of vintner families. Its holdings include Clos Pegase, Cosentino, Girard, B.R. Cohn, Swanson, Viansa, Windsor, Cameron Hughes, Firesteed, Cartlidge & Browne, Sonoma Coast Vineyard, Purple Cowboy, Layer Cake, and Cherry Pie. Not only did Ron like the people at and the terms offered by Vintage Wine Estates, he felt that they were the party most likely to be successful taking Tamarack into the future and would provide the best long-term opportunity for his employees.
Though terms of the deal are not disclosed, Vintage Wine Estates purchased 100% of the assets of Tamarack Cellars including real estate, building leases, brand, equipment, inventory, and supply contracts. All employees were retained by Vintage Wine Estates, including longtime winemaker Danny Gordon, who recently concluded his 19th harvest at Tamarack. This transaction is Vintage Wine Estates’ first acquisition in the Northwest that includes a production facility and significantly increases Vintage Wine Estates’ position in the region, building upon its recent acquisitions of Washington’s Buried Cane and Oregon’s Firesteed brands.