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Bonfils buys James Herrick

Published:  23 July, 2008

Languedoc wine producer picks up Foster's James Herrick brand

The family group, which created the 'flying winemaker' brand, bought the brand and vineyards from the Foster's Group for an undisclosed sum, Harpers Magazine exclusively revealed this week.

Bonfils, now with a turnover of 22million (16.4m) comprises over 1,050 hectares across 13 domaines in the Languedoc and one in the Bordeaux region.

It also owns the premium Languedoc wine trading company Maurel Vedeau and the wholly organic wine producer Monfreux de Fages, based in the Herault region.

With the purchase, Bonfils gains 180 hectares of premium Chardonnay vineyards and the wine-making site Domaine de la Motte, near Narbonne, where the group plans to consolidate vinification operations in due course.

The James Herrick brand has grown to reach sales of 120,000 cases globally, with the UK remaining a key development market.

Currently, Bonfils export over half of their 1.3million case production to markets including Europe, the US, Asia and Russia.

Copestick Murray Wine Solutions, which manages the Bonfil account will also handle the James Herrick brand in the off-trade as well as the on-trade via its specialist sister-company Source Wines.

Laurent Bonfils, chairman of the Bonfils, said: "This is a very exciting time for us and we are really pleased to be taking on such a classic brand.

"With the world demand for Chardonnay still on the increase, there is a fantastic opportunity to bring the brand to a new audience."