PASCO, Washington (Nov. 26, 2013) – Prominent winemakers and growers competed vigorously for hours for parts of the Red Mountain American Viticultural Area (AVA) Saturday, but ultimately it was a single buyer from Canada who purchased all 670 acres for $8.7 million in a Musser Bros. Auction.
“Everything came together perfectly. We had a very strong field of 35 bidders, and our Power Parcels system of bidding worked to perfection,” said auctioneer Scott Musser. “When we took the first round of bids on the 31 parcels, we were still under $5 million. But once we began bidding the land in groups of parcels and the entire property, the competition really stepped up. Various growers, investors and others competed vigorously for five hours and 17 minutes.”
Bidding went back and forth as bidders made offers on individual parcels and every conceivable combination. In the end, the last bidder standing was Aquilini Investments, a major investor from British Columbia. “Our bidding method sells the land in the combination that brings the highest price for the seller. We could have had one buyer, 31 buyers or anything in between. In this case, the highest bid was for all the land,” said Musser.
Bidders on the land included Duckhorn Vineyards, Kiona Vineyards & Winery, Upchurch Vineyard, Hedges and other prominent companies.
“We felt that the opportunity to buy this land in Washington's smallest and most prestigious vineyard would attract the attention of quality growers, and we were right about that,” said Musser. “From that point, the key is to promote competition between them, and I was very pleased with our success at that.”
Musser Bros. sold the property for the Kennewick Irrigation District, which has been working to provide pressuized water from the Yakima River to the land.
Chuck Freeman, district manager for KID, said he was pleased with the outcome. “I think the right people were in the room, and the auction process worked well for us. We were at $4.5 million before the Power Parcels part of the process kicked in, so that made a huge difference. I think we would do it again,” he said.
Musser Bros., with locations in Cody, Wyo., Twin Falls, Idaho, Meridian (Boise) Idaho, Billings, Mont., and Pasco, Wash., markets real estate, equipment and other assets through online and live auctions, as well as through traditional real estate listings.