Centuria buys six vineyards from Carlyle’s Accolade Wines

The vineyards will be held in Primewest Agricultural Trust No. 1, Centuria’s first agriculture investment vehicle, acquired following its merger with Primewest.

Centuria has purchased a portfolio of six vineyards in South Australia from the Carlyle Group-owned Accolade Wines for A$8.2 million ($5.7 million; €5.7 million).

The portfolio was acquired by Primewest Agricultural Trust No. 1, managed by Australian Securities Exchange-listed Centuria Capital Group’s subsidiary Primewest.

It consists of six vineyards across eight separate properties covering 113.74ha, with 74.95ha of planted vines. The deal also included 223ML of water assets, held across nine separate entitlements.

Centuria has agreed to a 10-year triple-net lease back to Accolade Wines for the properties, ensuring continuity of management. The deal was settled in late July 2022. Carlyle Group acquired Accolade Wines for A$1 billion in 2018.

The six vineyards purchased by PWAT1 are: Resurrection Vineyard in the Barossa Valley; Evans Vineyard in the Coonawarra region; Hanlin Hill in the Clare Valley; Stobie, also in the Clare Valley; Clarendon in McLaren Vale; and Petaluma Gores Road in the Adelaide Hills.

The deal is the second between Primewest and Accolade Wines. In mid-2021, winemaker Rolf Binder sold his Rolf Binder Winery & Vineyards to the firm, an asset comprising five vineyards. Those properties were leased to Accolade, which at the same time acquired the Rolf Binder brand.

Centuria head of agriculture Andrew Tout said in a statement: “This was a rare opportunity to secure a viticultural portfolio across five well-regarded South Australian wine regions, famed for producing internationally renowned wine varieties. Each estate is meticulously managed, with all vines hand-pruned; an element that facilitates the production of ultra-premium wines such as St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz and the Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling.”

PWAT1’s portfolio now consists of 11 assets worth A$115.2 million, Centuria said. Its other assets include the Pinegatta and Lamattina horticultural assets in Victoria, which it acquired for a combined A$46.8 million in 2021, and the Rullo stonefruit asset, also in Victoria.

The firm launched an unlisted open-end agriculture fund, the Centuria Agriculture Fund, earlier in 2022, seeding it with the A$177 million Warragul glasshouse in Victoria that it acquired from Roc Partners’ Flavorite. The glasshouse is leased to Flavorite for 20 years and is the company’s central production facility, used to grow its main crop of tomatoes, as well as capsicums, cucumbers and blueberries.

When launching the fund, Centuria said Warragul would be the first asset of “an anticipated, highly selective Australian agricultural portfolio.”

Centuria joint CEO Jason Huljich said then: “CAF intends to carefully partner with select operators who have a strong track record in producing high-yielding produce and who are well established with extensive experience throughout various weather cycles.

“The fund has a two-prong investment strategy. It will primarily focus on precision farming assets, such as glasshouse production, netted crops, vertical farming and properties with access to water, substrate growing and automated harvesting.

“Secondly, we will target assets aligned to the agricultural supply chain, such as processing, storage/cold storage and distribution to meet the paddock-to-plate demand. This remit includes both existing assets as well as those where farming operations can be expanded or improved through capex funding.”

The firm said it was seeking approximately A$103 million to formally launch the fund.