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Casella Family Brands acquires and avoids closure of iconic Morris Wines

Published:  22 July, 2016

Casella Family Brands announced today that they have acquired full ownership of iconic Australian Morris Wines with an immediate effect for an undisclosed sum from Pernod Ricard.

"I'm delighted to welcome Morris Wines into the Casella family, particularly due to our longstanding relationship with the Morris family, which goes back 50 years to when my father supplied grapes to the former Griffith winery," said managing director of Casella Family Brands, John Casella.

Period Ricard announced last month that it would be closing the doors of the fifth-generation winery some time later this year. Pernod Ricard purchased the famed fortified wine producer as well as the Rutherglen winery in the 1970s.  The decline in consumption within the fortified wine category was behind the announcement in June.

The acquisition includes the purchase of the winery, the cellar door, 80 hectares of vineyards, stock and the Morris of Rutherglen brand intellectual property.

David Morris, the chief winemaker at Morris Wines said: "I'm delighted that Morris Wines has been returned to family ownership. The Morris family has built Morris of Rutherglen into an iconic Australian brand and John Casella believes in honouring family legacy and winemaking tradition. The purchase by Casella Family Brands can only be a positive outcome for the winery, the brand, the region and the industry. We're looking forward to embarking on the next chapter of our journey under the stewardship of Casella Family Brands."

For CFB the acquisition will help to further add to the company's premium wine portfolio.

Casella said: "Morris Wines is an iconic Australian winery and one of the greatest fortified wineries in the world, with over 150 years of history and winemaking tradition."

Further Casella sees the potential in the fortified category overall as an opportunity for his family's business. He said: "I believe the premium fortified category offers growth potential and Casella Family Brands is well placed to invest in developing the Morris of Rutherglen brand."