Wine buyer raises glass

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - Ray Jor­dan

WA busi­ness­man and ma­jor wine pro­ducer Peter Fog­a­rty has bought lead­ing wine brand Evans & Tate from the McWilliam’s Wine Group.

The move ce­ments Mr Fog­a­rty’s po­si­tion as WA’s big­gest wine pro­ducer, with the ac­qui­si­tion more than dou­bling his an­nual pro­duc­tion.

Mr Fog­a­rty, a for­mer cor­po­rate lawyer and one-time boss of smart card-maker ERG, now con­trols more than 50 per cent of the to­tal Mar­garet River wine pro­duc­tion.

This year, his to­tal crush in WA was more than 11,500 tonnes, most of which was Mar­garet River fruit.

The group’s pro­duc­tion will rise to 600,000 cases, of which more than 400,000 cases will be un­der the Evans & Tate brand.

The Fog­a­rty Wine Group will take Evans & Tate into its portfolio of wine brands, which in­cludes Deep Woods, Mill­brook and Smith­brook in WA and Lakes Folly in the NSW Hunter Val­ley. Evans & Tate brands and as­sets will be com­bined with Mar­garet River Vint­ners, which is jointly owned by the Fog­a­rty Wine Group and McWilliam’s. The ac­qui­si­tion will al­low Evans & Tate to be re-es­tab­lished as a sin­gle WA-owned busi­ness, al­low­ing McWilliam’s to fo­cus on its wine as­sets in the Eastern States.

Mar­garet River Vint­ners, which owns 379ha of vine­yards, is Mar­garet River’s big­gest wine-pro­cess­ing busi­ness with tank stor­age of 11 mil­lion litres and stor­age ca­pac­ity for 4000 bar­rels.

Mr Fog­a­rty is chair­man of the Fog­a­rty Wine Group and Mar­garet River Vint­ners.

Evans & Tate was es­tab­lished in the Swan Val­ley in 1968 by John Tate and John Evans.

It be­came a pub­licly listed company in 1999, em­bark­ing on a ma­jor ac­qui­si­tion and ex­pan­sion pro­gram in other States that ul­ti­mately stretched it too far and it col­lapsed in 2007.

Pic­ture: Nic El­lis

Perth busi­ness­man Peter Fog­a­rty has bought Evans & Tate, con­firm­ing him as the big­gest wine pro­ducer in WA.

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