Vinum unveils $250m winery fund

The California-based private equity buyout firm will focus on mid-market wine properties in an effort to meet ‘pent-up’ demand for equity.

Vinum Capital Management has formed a $250 million (€162 million) buyout fund, Vinum Capital Partners I, targeting mid-size wineries producing up to 150,000 cases of wine each year.

The San Anselmo, California-based firm said in a statement it was meeting “pent-up” demand for equity from premium vineyards in California, Washington state and Oregon.

“There is currently very little equity capital available in the middle-market wine industry,” said Stephen Kuhn, general manager and managing partner of VCM. He added that more than half of California’s wineries would change hands over the next 10 years.

VCM said its team had launched or managed more than 150 brands for companies and wineries including Penfolds, Beringer and Gallo.

Thomas Thornhill, VCM managing partner and chairman of the Mendocino Wine Company, added: “The focus of this fund is to acquire wine properties efficiently, grow them effectively with expertise and necessary growth capital, and ultimately sell them to strategic and financial acquirers. We've built the best team in the wine, agriculture, and real estate industries to do just that.”