Canadian Manufacturing

Toronto distributor Corby acquires Foreign Affair Winery in Niagara for $6.2M

Corby, which both manufacturers and distributes wine and spirits, will add Foreign Affair's selection of reds, whites and roses to its extensive distribution portfolio. Current winery management and staff will remain involved in the business


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TORONTO—Corby Spirit and Wine Ltd.—a Toronto-based manufacturer, marketer and distributor of spirits and wine—announced August 25 that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Niagara’s Foreign Affair Winery for $6.2 million.

Corby will acquire Foreign Affair as a wholly-owned subsidiary. The winery boasts a portfolio of award-winning Ontario red, white and rose wines, and operates a 40-acre vineyard in Vineland, Ont., on the Niagara peninsula. Foreign Affair sells its products through a variety of channels, including directly from its on-site retail store, to wine club customers, and through the LCBO and SAQ.

Corby says Foreign Affair is recognized as the first Canadian winery to craft wines exclusively applying the Italian appassimento technique, which produces denser and more concentrated juices.

“This transaction will allow us to complement our wide portfolio of represented international wines with uniquely-styled, premium Canadian wines,” said Patrick O’Driscoll, president and CEO of Corby.

The winery’s founders will remain involved in the business, along with the existing team.

“We are ecstatic to have entered into this agreement with such a strongly innovative Canadian recognized market leader,” said Len Crispino, proprietor of the Foreign Affair Winery.

Crispino continued, “Our mutual business values are grounded in continuous innovation; strong customer engagement and loyalty; a commitment to lasting and memorable experiences; and a focus on the premium segment of the market. Corby’s extensive experience and reputation should strengthen the brand of the winery and raise the profile of the Canadian wine industry.”

Corby represents a wide variety of international liquor brands, such as Absolut vodka, Chivas Regal scotch whisky, Beefeater gin and Malibu rum. It also owns Canadian brands like J.P. Wiser’s Canadian whisky, Lamb’s rum and Polar Ice vodka.

The transaction is expected to close on September 29.


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