Accolade Wines

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Accolade Wines
Thomas Hardy and Sons, BRL Hardy, The Hardy Wine Company, Constellation Wines Australia
Private equity
Founded1853; 166 years ago (1853) in Old Reynella, South Australia, Australia
Key people
Ari Mervis (executive chairman since May 2018)[1]
BrandsAmberley, Anakena, Arras, Atlas Peak, Babycham, Banrock Station, Bay of Fires, Berri Estates, Brookland Valley, Country Manor, Da Luca, Echo Falls, Eddystone Point, Fish Hoek, Flagstone, Geyser Peak, Ginger Joe, Goundrey, Grant Burge, Hardys, Houghton, House of Arras, Jack Rabbit, Knappstein, Kumala, Leasingham, Le Portail des Coteaux, Mezzomondo, Moondah Brook, Mud House, Omni, Petaluma, Renmano, Reynella, Sir James, St Hallett, Stanley, Stones, Stonier, Stowells, Ta Ku, Tatachilla, Tintara, Turner Road, Waipara Hills, William Hardy, Yarra Burn, XYZin.
ParentThe Carlyle Group

Accolade Wines is a major global wine business with headquarters in South Australia. It has been owned by The Carlyle Group, an American private equity company, since 2018.[2][3]

Accolade has more than 1700 employees around the world, with operations in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, mainland Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.


Accolade Wines traces its beginning to Thomas Hardy and Sons, a company founded in 1853 which grew to become Australia's largest winemaker. The company headquarters are in Old Reynella, South Australia.

Former Thomas Hardy & Sons Ltd Wine Cellars, 1893, at Mile End

At 20 years of age, Thomas Hardy arrived in South Australia after sailing from the English county of Devon in 1850. He worked at Reynella Farm for John Reynell, then drove cattle to the Victorian goldfields. Hardy used the money he had earned to purchase a property on the banks of the River Torrens, which he named 'Bankside'.[4][5] Shiraz and Grenache vines were planted on the Bankside property. Wine was sold locally and in England, and the profits enabled Hardy to buy the Tintara Vineyard Company about 1876. Hardy steadily expanded the company over the years, purchasing a bottling plant at Mile End, cellars on Currie Street in Adelaide, and a disused flour mill in McLaren Vale.[5]

In 1938, then chairman Tom Mayfield Hardy was killed in an aeroplane crash along with other leading South Australian winemakers. His cousin, Kenneth Hardy, became chairman.[6]

In 1968, the company established extensive vineyards in the Padthaway area.

In 1976, Thomas Hardy and Sons made its first corporate acquisition by purchasing the London-based Emu Wine Company, which included Houghton (Western Australia's largest winery) and Morphett Vale.

In 1982, the company purchased Chateau Reynella, where Thomas Hardy had first worked, and converted it to its headquarters.

Further expansion came in 1992, when Thomas Hardy & Sons merged with Berri Renmano Limited to form what then became Australia's second largest wine group, BRL Hardy Limited.

In 2003, the brands of BRL Hardy and those of Constellation Brands were merged to create the world's largest international wine business.[7] BRL Hardy Limited was renamed The Hardy Wine Company.

In 2006, Constellation Brands acquired Vincor International, adding the West Australian brands of Amberley and Goundrey to the Hardy portfolio.

On 31 March 2008, The Hardy Wine Company changed its name to Constellation Wines Australia.[citation needed]

In February 2011, Constellation Brands sold 80 per cent of Constellation Wines Australia, along with sister company Constellation Europe, to CHAMP Private Equity. Constellation Brands retained a 20 per cent stake in the newly named Accolade Wines.[8]

In October 2015, Accolade sold its 50 per cent share of British drinks distributor Matthew Clark.[8][9][10]

In November 2016, the company acquired the Australian premium wine portfolio (Fine Wine Partners) of beverage giant Lion.[11][12]

In March 2017, CHAMP Private Equity scrapped its plans to float Accolade on the Australian Securities Exchange. The decision was made after overtures from potential Chinese buyers, and a drop in the value of the British pound due to Brexit.[13]

Until 2018, the company was 80 per cent owned by the Australian private equity firm CHAMP Private Equity and 20 per cent owned by the United-States-based alcohol giant Constellation Brands.[8] 100% of the company was sold to The Carlyle Group in 2018.[2]


Accolade Wines sells its products in over 80 countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, the United States, Japan, China, and across Continental Europe.

It has branch offices in the United Kingdom (Weybridge and Bristol), Australia (Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne), and South Africa (Stellenbosch), as well as in Moscow, Warsaw, Shanghai, Singapore, Beijing and California.

The business is the largest wine company by volume and value in the United Kingdom and Ireland, a highly-competitive market with thin margins.[8] Its popular brands there include:

  • Hardys, the number one Australian wine brand in the UK and a significant wine brand in mainland Europe,
  • Kumala, the UK's number one South African wine brand,[14]
  • Echo Falls, the third largest wine brand in the UK,
  • Stowells, the number one wine brand in the UK on-premises trade,
  • Banrock Station, the UK's number one environmentally friendly wine brand,
  • Wine fusions such as Stone's Ginger Wine, Ginger Joe alcoholic ginger beer and Babycham perry,
  • Californian brands such as Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak and XYZin, drawing on the Sonoma and Atlas Peak regions.

The chief executive from October 2015 to August 2016 was Paul Schaafsma, who previously worked for Australian Vintage. From August 2016 to April 2017, the CEO was former APAC GM of Sales, Michael East.[citation needed] Since April 2017, the CEO has been CHAMP board executive Jim Anderson.[citation needed] The chairman is former New South Wales premier Nick Greiner. The deputy chairman is John Ratcliffe, who was Schaafsma's predecessor as CEO.[8]

Wine labels[edit]

Winery/Brand Region Country External link Notes
Amberley Estate[15] Western Australia Australia [1]
Anakena[16] Chile [2] Acquired 2015[8]
Atlas Peak[17] Napa Valley North America [3]
Babycham[18] United Kingdom [4] Sparkling perry.
Banrock Station[15] South Australia Australia [5]
Bay of Fires[15] Tasmania Australia [6]
Berri Estates[15] South Australia Australia [7]
Brookland Valley[15] Margaret River Australia [8]
Country Manor[18] United Kingdom
Croser[3] Australia
Da Luca[19] Italy
Drylands[20] Marlborough New Zealand [9] Agent only (for the Pacific, Japan and United Kingdom).[20]
Echo Falls[17] North America [10] Includes Fruit Fusion range released 2015[21]
Eddystone Point[15] Tasmania Australia [11]
Fish Hoek[22] South Africa [12]
Flagstone[22] South Africa [13]
Geyser Peak[17] Alexander Valley North America [14]
Ginger Joe[18] United Kingdom [15] Alcoholic ginger beer.
Goundrey[15] Western Australia Australia [16]
Grant Burge Wines[15] Barossa Australia [17] Acquired 2014.[11]
Gran Tierra[16] Chile [18]
Hardys[15] (various) Australia Named world's second strongest wine brand in 2008.[23]
Houghton[15] Swan Valley Australia
House of Arras[15] Tasmania Australia [19] Sparkling wine.
Jack Rabbit[24] "Other"
Knappstein[3] Clare Valley Australia From Lion
Kumala[22] South Africa [20]
Leasingham[15] Clare Valley Australia [21] Label only?[25][better source needed]
Le Portail des Coteaux[citation needed]
Mezzomondo[19] Italy
Moondah Brook[15] Western Australia Australia [22]
Monkey Bay[20] New Zealand [23] Agent only (for the Pacific, Japan and United Kingdom).[20]
Mud House[20] (various) New Zealand [24]
Nobilo[20] New Zealand [25] Agent only (for the Pacific, Japan and United Kingdom).[20]
Omni[15] Australia [26]
Paul Masson Winery[17] North America Agent only (for Australia, Pacific, Japan, United Kingdom).[17]
Petaluma[3] Australia
Ravenswood[17] North America [27] Agent only (for Australia, Pacific, Japan, United Kingdom).[17]
Renmano[15] Australia
Reynella[15] Australia
Robert Mondavi[17] North America [28] Agent only (for Australia, Pacific, Japan, United Kingdom).[17]
Sir James[citation needed]
Stanley Wines[15] Australia
Starve Dog Lane[15] Australia [29]
St Hallett[3] Barossa Valley Australia From Lion
Stones[18] United Kingdom [30] Ginger wine
Stonier[3] Mornington Peninsula Australia
Stowells[24] (various) "Other" On-premise brand, sold in the UK, of wines from around the world.[24]
Ta Ku[20] (various) New Zealand [31]
Tatachilla[3] McLaren Vale Australia From Lion
Tintara[citation needed]
Turner Road[17] North America
Waipara Hills[20] Waipara New Zealand [32]
William Hardy[citation needed]
Yarra Burn[15] Yarra Valley Australia Sparkling wine
XYZin[17][26] North America

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evans, Simon (14 May 2018). "Ex-Murray Goulburn CEO Ari Mervis appointed chairman of Accolade Wines". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Macdonald, Anthony; Thompson, Sarah (5 April 2018). "CHAMP secures $1b deal for Australian winemaker Accolade Wines". Australian Financial Review. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Berry, Petrina (1 June 2018). "US firm looks to Asia after buying SA-based Accolade Wines". InDaily. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  4. ^ Hardy, T. K. (2001). The Australian Wine Pictorial Atlas. Brighton, South Australia: Vintage Image Productions. ISBN 1-876303-01-8.
  5. ^ a b O'Neill, Sally (1972). "Hardy, Thomas (1830–1912)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  6. ^ Burden, Rosemary (1996). "Hardy, Kenneth Thomas (1900–1970)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Our Heritage: Company Chronology". Constellation Wines Australia. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Evans, Simon (28 September 2015). "Paul Schaafsma the new boss in Accolade Wines reshuffle". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Conviviality deal with Matthew Clark clears last hurdle". The Drinks Business. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Completion of acquisition and change of name" (PDF). Conviviality Plc. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  11. ^ a b Thompson, Sarah (column editor) (2 December 2016). "Accolade Wines to kick off non-deal roadshow next week". StreetTalk. The Australian Financial Review. p. 18.
  12. ^ Australian Associated Press (14 November 2016). "Lion sells Aussie wine brands to Accolade". News Limited.
  13. ^ Evans, Simon (7 March 2017). "Brexit blues and China overtures end Accolade IPO plans". The Australian Financial Review. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  14. ^ Article on "Drinks International", 13th August 2018
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Our Portfolio: Australia". Accolade Wines. 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Our Portfolio: Chile". Accolade Wines. 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Our Portfolio:North America". Accolade Wines. 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  18. ^ a b c d "Our Portfolio: United Kingdom". Accolade Wines. 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Our Portfolio: Italy". Accolade Wines. 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Our Portfolio: New Zealand". Accolade Wines. 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Alcohol Emporium – Fruit Fusion Summary".
  22. ^ a b c "Our Portfolio: South Africa". Accolade Wines. 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  23. ^ Meredith, Booth (25 June 2008). "Hardy's poised to be world leader". The Advertiser. Adelaide: News Limited. p. 40.
  24. ^ a b c "Our Portfolio: Non Region Specific Brands". Accolade Wines. 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  25. ^ Shanahan, Chris (2 February 2011). "Tim Adams buys Clare's Leasingham Winery". Chris Shanahan: Australian wine & beer judge, writer and connoisseur. (private blog). Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  26. ^ "Constellation Wines – Our Wines".

External links[edit]

35°05′39″S 138°32′36″E / 35.094279°S 138.543356°E / -35.094279; 138.543356Coordinates: 35°05′39″S 138°32′36″E / 35.094279°S 138.543356°E / -35.094279; 138.543356