Ropes & Gray Advises Duckhorn Portfolio in Luxury Wine Acquisition

In The News
November 17, 2023

Ropes & Gray represented the Duckhorn Portfolio in a definitive agreement to acquire Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, one of the largest luxury Chardonnay wineries in the U.S., from Brown-Forman Corporation for $400 million in a combination of stock and cash.

Under the terms of the agreement, Brown-Forman will receive 31.5 million shares of the Duckhorn Portfolio’s common stock, valued at approximately $350 million, and about $50 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments. The deal was announced in a Nov. 16 press release.  

The acquisition will expand the Duckhorn Portfolio’s footprint in the luxury wine industry. The company owns 10 wineries, nine winemaking facilities, seven tasting rooms, and over 1,100 acres of vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Anderson Valley, California’s North and Central coasts, Oregon and Washington state. Sonoma-Cutrer began making  wine in 1981 in the Russian River Valley region of Sonoma County, California.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by M&A partner Elizabeth Gallucci and counsel Tristan VanDeventer and included M&A partner Chris Comeau, executive compensation & employee benefits partner Kyle Higley, litigation & enforcement partner Jonathan Klarfeld, tax partner Pam Glazier, real estate partner David Kaye, finance partner Nichole Lopez-Tackett, employment partner Megan Bisk and real estate partner Peter Alpert.