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Wednesday 30 August 2023

Sparkling wine standout House of Arras sold

In a major move in the Australian wine industry, Accolade Wines has sold its multiple-award winning House of Arras sparkling wines brand and vineyards, along with the Bay of Fires winery and cellar door in Tasmania, to boutique producer Handpicked Wines for an undisclosed price.

Accolade has been hit by high debt levels at a time when the wine sector is being impacted by an oversupply of grapes and diminished demand due to cost-of-living pressures.

Handpicked Wines was creating by William Dong more than a decade ago and it owns vineyards in the Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley regions in Victoria, in Tasmania, and in the Barossa Valley.

Under sparkling specialist Ed Carr (pictured), House Arras has been Australia’s highest profile sparkling producer. Carr will apparently stay on under the new ownership. 

Accolade said in a statement on that an agreement had been reached for Handpicked Wines to acquire House of Arras, 24 hectares of vineyards, and the Bay of Fires winery at Pipers River in Tasmania.

No word on the future of talented Bay of Fires winemaker Penny Jones but Accolade will retain the Bay of Fires wine brand, under an arrangement that will see Handpicked Wines make the wine under contract.

"House of Arras is a globally celebrated sparkling house and we are honoured to become the custodians of this admired brand and uphold its tradition of winemaking excellence," Dong said. 

"We look forward to working with Ed Carr and the team to bring Australia’s most awarded sparkling wine to the world."

Handpicked Wines chief winemaker Peter Dillon said: "Ed Carr is one of Australia's most respected
winemakers and I'm excited to work with him through Arras and with the network of Tasmania’s
best sparkling growers and vineyards.”  

Accolade has 50 wine brands in its portfolio including Hardy’s, St Hallett, Petaluma, Banrock Station and Grant Burge but has been selling off assets.

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