NACHES — A Yakima Valley fruit production giant is getting into the wine business with the purchase of four well-known vineyards.
At the end of April, Naches fruit packer and grower Allan Brothers will purchase nearly 900 acres of wine grapes from Sagemoor Vineyards of Pasco.
Allan Brothers already owns 2,600 acres of cherries and apples throughout south Central Washington. The company hopes the vineyards will expand its footprint and diversify its products.
“We’re getting bigger, but we look at it as we’re getting better,” said Miles Kohl, CEO of Allan Brothers.
Sagemoor Farms owns Sagemoor, Bachus, Dionysus and Weinbau vineyards, which span 883 acres in Franklin and Grant counties. The names are well-recognized in the state’s wine industry and their grapes are sold to more than 70 wineries.
The founding partners of Sagemoor are at the age — some in their 90s — when they need to think about succession plans, said Kent Waliser, general manager of Sagemoor. They chose Allan Brothers, which started in the 1920s, because the company is familiar with the region and puts an emphasis on quality, Waliser said.
“We were looking for a stable, new owner that believed in our business model and the way we do business,” Waliser said.
Sagemoor also grows apples and cherries and packs some at Allan Brothers, Waliser said. Sagemoor will keep those orchards.
Allan Brothers will retain the names of the vineyards and the 100-person staff, Kohl said. Waliser said many of the employees have been tending the same vines for decades.
The two parties declined to reveal the sale price or other terms of the purchase.