Riboli Family Wines Acquisition

Riboli Family Wines Acquisition

Jenny Heinzen Real Estate Facilitates Riboli Family Wines Acquisition of New Vineyard in El Pomar District

Western Farm Press

California vineyard sales, demand booming 100,000 acres in the state are for sale, according to a survey. Lee Allen | May 13, 2021
100,000 acres in the state are for sale, according to a survey.
California has the most vineyards for sale in the country. A recent survey of land and farm data found 100,000 acres of vineyards in the state with “For Sale” sign on them with a combined value approaching a half-billion dollars, according to one West Coast broker.
Jenny Heinzen Real Estate is a leader in the dealing of vineyard and winery properties. The Paso Robles, Calif.-based broker notes: “Despite the stresses of 2020, we’ve seen a significant upswing in demand for vineyard acreage and wineries and I saw encouraging signs of active grape buying during harvest. The wine industry sees growth through innovation and renewal and this is especially evident with the current robust vineyard sales activity.”
Witness her firm’s record sales of 5,233 acres of vineyard and winery properties in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties last year indicating the Central Coast region and, specifically the American Viticulture Area of Paso Robles, as a hotbed of activity with investors clamoring for a slice of the vineyard pie.
Her average listing last year sold for $6.6 million with the highest transaction logged in at $17 million. Competition is so fierce that one of the Paso Robles deals, a winery-vineyard, closed in record time of just two weeks.
“The Central Coast’s visionary growers and winemakers has been thought of as an ‘emerging region’, but the high demand shows it’s no longer emerging, but well established,” she said. “Savvy investors are purchasing vineyards in need of redevelopment, preparing them for the next upswing in the grape market.
“The real estate market was really strong for vineyards in the second half of 2020,” she added. “My husband and I own a grape vendor management company and early indicators for 2021 grape sales are a good sign.”
Although based in Paso Robles, “if it’s a big enough deal, I’ll go anywhere in the state,” Heinzen said, adding she is hearing lots of positives, going forward. Mergers and acquisitions are happening with vineyards, wineries, and brands. There were 20 “significant” deals late last year, with most in the $10 million to $20 million range, she said.

Room for Smaller Players

California’s Central Coast is home to 920 wineries that produce more than 1.1 million cases per year, accounting for over 10% of the tonnage of grapes produced annually in the state.
Despite those big sales numbers, there’s still room for smaller players to get into the market. “Not in the Napa/Sonoma area that has been priced out of the middle market for decades, but there are still opportunities around Paso Robles to get into the business on a smaller scale,” she said. “Although there is an influx of buyers coming in from Los Angeles and San Francisco and you do need some kind of nest egg for capital, you don’t have to be a millionaire/billionaire to make it happen.”
Calling the growing of grapes and making of wine “a promising arena,” Heinzen concludes: "There was a big planting boom in the 1990s and a lot of those vineyards are of the age where they need to be replanted, so it’s redevelopment time, a kind of replanting or selling opportunity for a lot of people. It’s an exciting time to see the next generation come forth and carry the industry on its next journey.”
Source URL: https://www.farmprogress.com/grapes/california-vineyard-sales-demand-booming

Central Coast Insights

Robust M&A Activity on California's Central CoastAuthor: Cyril Penn Date: 08/28/20 While the pace of mergers and acquisitions in the wine sector paused in March and April following shelter in place orders, the market picked up in May and remains brisk with more winery deals in the pipeline, the co-owner of a vineyard advisory and management firm based in Paso Robles said last week. “This is an exciting time for wine mergers and acquisitions on the Central Coast,” broker Jenny Heinzen said during the Central Coast Insights symposium. “We’ve got a lot of activity. People are still willing to take the risk. There’s doing their due diligence and moving forward.”
Three Big Deals Since May Treasury Wine Estates Sold its 825-acre Cat Canyon Vineyard to a Sran Vineyards LLC for $18 million or roughly 21,000 per vineyard, an older vineyard that needs some replanting, back on May 14. An LLC controlled by Harvard sold more than 7,000 acres valued at $120 million to an LLC controlled by a Canadian Pension fund, a deal that closed June 26. The management team associated with the venture, Shandon Vineyard Properties, remains the same. Booker Wines brought Constellation Brands in as an investor in July with Zepponi & Company, serving as financial advisor. Four Types of Buyers Heinzen said there’s essentially been four primary types of buyers: Large Wine Companies such as E&J Gallo buying brands and large vineyards. Portfolio Wineries, such as Vintage Wine Estates, WX Brands and WarRoom Ventures. AG Investors, including local farm managers, but more often pension funds and institutional investors.
Lifestyle Buyers, and there are many more of them this year. Heinzen said ag investors “have a significant amount of dry powder with a sharp pencil.” She said lifestyle buyers previously called three times a month, but are now making enquires daily. Heinzen cited several vineyard transactions between $2 and $10 million and said at least two Paso Robles wineries are currently in escrow, as are two large vineyard sales, while the long-delayed Constellation-Gallo deal expected to close next year. While there have been vineyard removals and the grape market is soft, Heinzen said Central Coast vineyard prices remain similar to what they were in 2018 and 2019, typically $50,000 per planted acre on the West Side of Paso Robles and closer to $30,000 per planted acre on the East Side, tracking roughly with Monterey County.
One of the big variables, of course is water. Pending groundwater policies could affect land prices. “We’ll continue to see sales activity, there’s this whole return to the homestead, large companies shifting brands around, and there’s a pool of money with institutional investors,” Heinzen said. Interest rates are running at about 3.5 percent for a 30-year fixed ag loan, Heinzen said, “The best I’ve seen in my 20-year career.” Joining Heinzen in the discussion was Pat Roney, CEO at Vintage Wine Estates, which has closed 22 acquisitions in the last 4 and-a-half years and expects to do more. Roney said each transaction was different with some taking up to two years to complete.
Roney said Covid-19 won't halt M&A activity and if anything will create opportunites in the next 12 - 18 months. Roney’s advice for wineries considering a potential sale? Prepare; know your contracts (ideally be as contact light as possible); understand your sales channels; be objective and fact-based - not emotional; and consider professional help. “We look for sellers who are realistic in their expectations of what’s going to happen in a transaction," he said. “I can’t say it enough, you have to be prepared. Get your financials together.”

Inside Winemaking Podcast

The guest for this episode is Jenny Heinzen, who runs a real estate business in Paso Robles, California, focused on vineyard and winery sales. Jenny’s real estate services span both residential and commercial properties. I wanted to talk with Jenny about issues buyers and sellers should be prepared for when buying or selling vineyards and/or wineries. Jenny works with her husband, Randy Heinzen from Ep. 86, to help clients maneuver through the technical aspects of vineyard due diligence. Randy makes a cameo in this episode when we wade into those technical land and viticultural issues.

Listen to Podcast

Grape Encounter Radio Interview

On this installment of Grape Encounters, David will be talking about something that has been on his “to-do” list for a super long time. Over the years, Grape Encounters has done a number of shows for listeners who may be interested in making their own wine; how you go about doing it without planting any grapes or building a winery. To be sure, many people do get into the business by jumping in head-first. Perhaps you’ve made some big bucks in high-tech or you won the lottery and have decided you want to go out and buy or build a winery… or maybe you’re a person that’s just dreaming that way. Whatever the case may be, on this episode, you’ll hear from the consummate professional when it comes to purchasing vineyard land, owning a winery, getting into the business, and the best part, even managing the business.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable about taking this giant plunge, you’ll definitely want to hear David’s discussion with Jenny Heinzen, owner of Jenny Heinzen Real Estate, located in Paso Robles, in the world-renowned California Central Coast wine country. Jenny’s real estate firm is a division of Vineyard Professional Services, which provides support in a multitude of ways to would-be and existing wine producers who can’t or don’t want to take on all the responsibilities themselves.
How many vineyard properties currently have a house on them where you can actually live among the grapes? How many properties have a winemaking facility on them as well as a vineyard? You might be surprised to learn that you can buy a pretty awesome property and get into the business for a price that is not much different than buying a really nice home on a small lot in one of America’s finer communities.
On today’s show, Jenny shares important information about different business models. Some people may want to limit themselves to growing and selling grapes. Others may buy their grapes elsewhere but produce wine in their own winery. Others will elect to take on all aspects of winemaking. One thing is certain, before you take the plunge, you need to spend some quality time with a pro like Jenny Heinzen, because mistakes are costly but doing it right can be life-changing in the most positive ways!


Here for You

If you're looking for a proven Paso Robles vineyard and winery expert, Jenny Heinzen is prepared to listen, share expertise, and deliver on your goals.