by Julia Anderson, Copyright 2013 -Seattle Business Monthly
(This article is abstracted; read the full version here).
For years, Chateau Ste. Michelle was the single giant towering over a vast array of much smaller wineries in Washington. But through steady and aggressive acquisition of wineries and vineyards, Seattle-based Precept Wine has created a wine empire that may one day rival what is now Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.
Precept, which has spent an estimated $100 million on acquisitions in the past decade, is the largest privately held wine business in the Pacific Northwest. (Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is owned by Altria Group, the former Philip Morris Companies, which is publicly held.) Precept owns 4,270 acres, seven wineries and 37 labels across Washington, Oregon and Idaho….