Jackson Family Wines buys Giant Steps

California’s Jackson Family Wines has expanded its Australian portfolio with a Yarra Valley winery.

Phil Sexton, founder, Giant Steps
Phil Sexton, founder, Giant Steps

California’s Jackson Family Wines has bought the Giant Steps Winery in Australia’s Yarra Valley. It is the latest Australian acquisition for Jackson Family Wines, which also owns Yangarra Estate Vineyard and Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard in the McLaren Vale.

“This is a remarkable new chapter for Giant Steps,” said founder Phil Sexton. “The recognition of the diversity of the Yarra Valley, and the development of ‘great dirt as vineyards’ is what brought the Jackson family and Giant Steps initially together and will continue to be our key goal.”

Giant Steps was founded in 1997, after the Sexton family sold Devil’s Lair, a successful Western Australian winery. Based in the heart of the cool climate Yarra Valley, Giant Steps released its first wine in 2001 to great acclaim. Since then, it has become renowned for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Chief Winemaker Steve Flamsteed joined in 2003.

The acquisition includes the Sexton and Applejack vineyards, totally around 75ha. Sexton will stay on as General Manager and Flamsteed remains Chief Winemaker.

“Our family is excited to be a part of the Yarra Valley community and to help build upon the incredible legacy of Phil Sexton and Steve Flamsteed,” said Christopher Jackson, the second-generation owner of Jackson Family Wines, in a statement. He added that the deal was underway before Covid-19. “While the global wine market has changed dramatically, it has not dampened our family’s enthusiasm towards Giant Steps.”

The purchase price remains private.

Jackson Family Wines is a family-owned company which owns 40 wineries, from California, Oregon, France and Italy in the northern hemisphere, to Australia, Chile and South Africa in the southern hemisphere.

For more insight into Jackson Family Wines, see the latest issue of Meininger’s Wine Business International magazine, which has an interview with Katie Jackson.

 

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