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Sogrape strengthens in Iberia

Published:  22 February, 2024

Sogrape, Portugal’s largest wine company, has increased its Iberian presence with the acquisition of Viña Mayor in Ribera del Duero’s ‘Golden Mile’.

Founded in 1942 by Fernando Van Zeller Guedes, Sogrape has grown from a single winery in the Douro Valley to become a global enterprise, comprising 1600ha of vineyards in Portugal, Spain, Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand.

The deal marks the starting point for Sogrape’s expansion on the Spanish side of the river Douro, while in Portugal, it already owns more than a dozen estates and vineyards, where it produces DOC Douro wines such as Casa Ferreirinha Barca-Velha, and Port Wines from the Sandeman and Porto Ferreira brands.

Under the agreement, Entrecanales Domecq e Hijos will retain the Secreto brand, which will be its flagship brand in Ribera del Duero. 

Founded in 1986 and certified as Wineries for Climate Protection in an active commitment to sustainability, Viña Mayor was one of the first companies to join the Ribera del Duero Designation of Origin – the region is Spain’s second-largest DO for red wines. 

Fernando da Cunha Guedes, president of Sogrape, said: “Having a clear strategic focus on Iberia, we were and continue looking for opportunities that would be of interest and with added value for Sogrape’s operation. 

“We have always believed in the importance of having a solid presence in the four R's in Spain: Rioja, Rías Baixas, Rueda and Ribera del Duero. Having established a significant position in the first three, we intended to reinforce in the fourth one for the quality of its wines and the value and potential this region has for the Spanish market and some international markets. We are very excited to collaborate with the Entrecanales family on this deal, which will strengthen our Iberian relevance.”

Gonzalo Entrecanales, president of Entrecanales Domecq e Hijos, added: “Working with Sogrape and the Guedes family over the last year has given us confidence. We are confident it is the right choice for Viña Mayor to prosper into the future. At the same time, we are entering a new and fascinating phase for EDH where we will continue to focus on our premium brands and continue in Ribera del Duero through the new project of our boutique winery Secreto.”

In 2012, Sogrape, which owns a majority stake in Liberty Wines, acquired Bodegas LAN in Rioja, integrating the Santiago Ruiz brand in Rías Baixas. 

Later, in 2018, it strengthened its presence by acquiring Bodegas Aura in Rueda. The addition of Viña Mayor to its portfolio further consolidates the company’s Iberian positioning.