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Duck Pond Cellars sells winery and vineyards to Great Oregon Wine Co

Integrated Beverage Group was created in August 2015 and produces "Replica" wines. In December 2015, the company acquired McMinnville's Stone Wolf Vineyards, which was renamed the Great Oregon Wine Co. The company's labels include "Rascal," a wine that sells about 90,000 cases a year, according to IBG.
by Kerana Todorov
September 06, 2018
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Duck Pond Cellars sells winery and vineyards to Great Oregon Wine Co. The sale includes 300 acres of vineyards in the Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley and Umpqua Valley.

A Colorado-based company has added a well-established Willamette Valley winery to its Oregon portfolio. The purchase of Duck Pond Cellars could allow the subsidiary to become one of Oregon’s biggest wine producers.

The Greater Oregon Wine Co., a division of Denver-based Integrated Beverage Group, on Wednesday announced it had purchased Duck Pond Cellars for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition includes the Duck Pond Cellars winery in Dundee, its brand and tasting room and more than 300 acres of vineyards, including Coles Valley in the Umpqua Valley and smaller vineyards in the Willamette Valley and Dundee Hills. Altogether, the newly expanded Greater Oregon Wine Co. could produce more than 300,000 cases a year. The transaction closed Aug. 30.

“We’re true believers in Oregon,” said Ari Walker, CEO of Integrated Beverage Group.

In a press release, Walker said adding Duck Pond Cellars to the Great Oregon Wine Company portfolio gives the expanding company access to premier vineyards in the region as the company grows winery operations in Oregon. “With this acquisition Great Oregon Wine Company moves in the first rank of Oregon winegrowers,” Walker said in the written statement.

Integrated Beverage Group was created in August 2015. In December 2015, the company acquired McMinnville’s Stone Wolf Vineyards, which was renamed the Great Oregon Wine Co. The company’s labels include “Rascal,” a wine that sells about 90,000 cases a year, according to IBG.

The label has grown so much the Great Oregon Wine Co. has grown out of the McMinnville facility, Walker said. The Duck Pond Cellars purchase allows the company to move some of its growing operations from McMinnville to Dundee.

Doug and Jo Ann Fries opened Duck Pond Cellars 25 years. One of their sons, Doug Fries, served as Duck Pond Cellars’ president. Two daughters were also involved in the business.

The family sold Duck Pond Cellars to downsize said Greg Fries, who remains a consultant with Greater Oregon Wine Col for two months. The sale of Duck Pond Cellars has not yet sunk in, Fries said Wednesday. “It’s a big move for the family,” he added.

“I think it’s a good fit,” Fries said, referring to the buyers.

The family’s other assets not included in the sale includes vineyards in Oregon and Washington State and Desert Wind Winery in Prosser, Washington state.

IBG produces a label named “Replica” - wines intended to have flavor profiles similar to those of the hottest wine brands but sold at a more affordable price. “Replica” is produced in Healdsburg.

Duck Pond Cellars employs about 45 people, according to Greg Fries. Winemaker Trevor Chlanda is staying, according to Walker. Chlanda joined Duck Pond Cellars two years ago after having worked as winemaker at Bin To Bottle, a custom-crush facility in Napa.

“Trevor is a superstar winemaker,” Walker said. “He’s taken Duck Pond from good to great.”

Walker wants to expand Duck Pond Cellars’ direct-to-consumer sales channel, which now represents about 15 percent of all sales.

Greg Fries said in a written statement he is grateful for all the hard work the Duck Pond Cellars team has put in to build the brand as well as farm the vineyards and “create a destination for consumers.”

“With their extensive experience in Oregon, we’re confident that Great Oregon Wine Company will carry on Duck Pond Cellars’ legacy of quality,” Fries said.

Zepponi and Co, which has offices in Santa Rosa and Portland, Ore., handled the Duck Pond Cellars transaction.

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