Local firm’s thirst for deals pours into California

(Michael Schwartz)

Winebow’s headquarters at 4800 Cox Road in Innsbrook. (Michael Schwartz)

A Henrico County-based alcohol distributor has bought its way into the nation’s largest wine-producing state.

The Winebow Group, headquartered at 4800 Cox Road in Innsbrook, announced this week its acquisition of California-based The Henry Wine Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

It marks Winebow’s first acquisition in the Golden State, where it will use the Henry Wine Group brand. This move follows a pattern of Winebow acquiring out-of-state distributors and maintaining their names in those markets.

Winebow’s latest acquisition pushes its distribution network to 19 states and Washington, D.C. The firm has grown steadily by acquiring other distributors, most recently purchasing Minnesota distributor Grape Beginnings in September and Wisconsin-based Purple Feet Wines in February 2015.

The Henry Wine Group’s logistics network, a wholly owned subsidiary called Zephyr Express, was also included in the deal. Winebow spokesperson Teresa Low said acquisitions of distributors’ logistics spinoffs aren’t common, but this wasn’t the first time the company had done so.

“It made a lot of sense to acquire (the logistics network) because it was already part of The Henry Wine Group,” Low said.

The deal gives Winebow access to wines produced in West Coast states, including California, Oregon and Washington. The Henry Group also lists an international portfolio of wines produced in Europe, South America and South Africa.

Henry Wine Group CEO Ed Hogan will stay on to manage the combined California operations. The Henry Wine Group founder Warner Henry also will remain involved with the company.

Created in 2014 through a merger between New York-based Winebow and Ashland’s The Vintner Group, The Winebow Group distributes in Virginia primarily through its Country Vintner brand. In addition to its Innsbrook office, the company operates a warehouse and distribution facility at 12305 N. Lakeridge Parkway in Ashland.

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