Team behind Seppeltsfield, Randall Wine Group, purchase Penny’s Hill in pivot away from China

The team behind Seppeltsfield – Randall Wine Group – have just bought Penny’s Hill winery in McLaren Vale including the Black Chook brand.

The team behind Seppeltsfield – Randall Wine Group – have just bought Penny’s Hill winery in McLaren Vale including the Black Chook brand.

The purchase is a part of the group’s new 10 year strategy based around the acquisition of 50,000 to 100,000 dozen brand cases in Australia’s premium wine growing districts, with a strong export sales focus.

As Australia’s largest private luxury vineyard holder, the new direction is driven by their pivot away from the Chinese market.

Following months of consideration and planning the Randall Wine Group’s Executive Chairman and Proprietor Warren Randall emerged with a new strategic direction.

In its previous 10 year strategy, the Randall Wine Group was in the process of selling 50% of its annual wine made to China as both premium bulk and bottled wine.

The new strategy is a massive shift into focusing on the SA wine market.

Penny’s Hill was their first pick in this, commanding a premier location between McLaren Vale and Willunga suiting a wine tourism village. The brands’ exports are 60% of total sales.

Founder, Tony Parkinson, has worked tirelessly to build a strong platform in North America, particularly Canada, with the Penny’s Hill and Black Chook brands are exported to 15 different countries.

“In the face of advancing years and with no clear family succession plan, it was time to find a new custodian for the 1855 estate,” Mr Parkinson said.

“Warren has a proven track record of acquiring, respecting and injecting enthusiasm and energy into historic 19th century Australian wine estates with provenance.

“I trust that he will carry on my legacy and springboard the brands to greater international success under his leadership.”

Mr Randall said the shift was made in response to the Chinese central government applying punitive and permanent 5-year tariffs on Australian bottled wine from the 27th of March 2021.

“Australian winemakers, invested heavily in the Chinese wine market for 10 years, supported by a free trade agreement with that country,” Warren said.

The Australian wine industry was an innocent bystander, a casualty in the crossfire of political coercion between China and Australia.

“We did not heed their 14 grievances and they savaged 7 Australian industries which were exporting 10% or AUD $20 billion of produce to China.

“Beef, barley, coal, cotton, timber, crayfish and wine were hit. 23% of the total annual value of the entire Australian wine crop was lost overnight. In 180 years, the Australian wine industry has never suffered such a setback.

“Following a very high quality vintage in 2021 it was time to reset the company’s strategy and pivot away from the Chinese market, which is a shame because the Chinese wine consumer loves the fruit and taste profile omnipresent in Australian wines. China had become Australia’s first ever $1 billion year wine market.”

The Penny’s Hill brand has won many awards over the last 25 years; most notably the World’s Best Cabernet at the Concours International des Cabernet in 2016 – judged in France by the French, proving in the vast range of wines on offer globally, McLaren Vale wines can match it with the best in the world.

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