Fiji Water's Resnick buys Landmark
The announcement that billionaire entrepreneur and Fiji Water owner Stewart Resnick has purchased Kenwood's Landmark Vineyards is no surprise to Sonoma City Councilmember Tom Rouse, an executive for one of Resnick's leading brands, POM Wonderful pomegranate juice.
"It's Resnick doing what he does," said Rouse on Thursday. "He's an aggressive guy, an aggressive organization, he doesn't stand still very long. We knew it was coming. He got the red wines, now he's got the white."
Rouse was referring to Resnick's December purchase of the 160-acre Justin Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles. Justin produces premium red wines and Resnick, said Rouse, needed a good white label to balance the portfolio.
"He's building a portfolio," Rouse reiterated, "and he's got a distribution system with 125 sales reps. It's a perfect fit."
Landmark is famous for its award-winning white wines and points guru Robert Parker called Landmark's Overlook Chardonnay "one of California's finest chardonnays."
The winery was owned by Mike and Mary Colhoun who moved the facility from Windsor to Kenwood after it was founded in 1974 by Mike Colhoun's mother, Demaris Deere Ford, the great-great-granddaughter of John Deere, inventor of the steel plow whose company went to global fame and great fortune with its line of farm tractors and other agricultural machinery. A John Deere tractor is prominently on display at Landmark Winery. Mike Colhoun was not available for comment at press time.
No purchase price was announced for the sale, but a Fiji spokesperson has been quoted as saying that existing winery staff will be retained. The Colhouns have already departed the facility and one winery employee said of Mike Colhoun in response to an inquiry on Thursday, "He doesn't work here anymore."
Resnick's empire, organized under the corporate name Roll Global, has been estimated to be worth $2 billion and Rouse, who works for Resnick, said of the Landmark purchase, "Who knows why he's buying wineries, but he doesn't not hit very many home runs. He usually knows exactly what he's doing."
Landmark currently produce 25,000 cases a year and news reports indicate Resnick's plans are to increase production significantly.