Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Washington state’s founding wine company, announced today that it has acquired the Woodinville, Washington-based O Wines brand, which currently sells its Chardonnay in the Northwest and several West Coast markets. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates ultimately plans to release the brand nationally with future vintages.
O Wines was established in 2006 by Stacy Lill and Kathy Johanson with a mission to fund scholarships for low income, deserving youth. The brand has funded more than 40 student scholarships in four years by partnering with organizations like the College Success Foundation. Many of the scholarship recipients were the first members of their families to attend college.
“We look forward to growing the brand and eventually adding a red wine to complement the Chardonnay,” says Ted Baseler president & CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “We will continue to donate a portion of the proceeds from wine sales to fund scholarships for low income, high potential youth.”
“We have admired O Wines for a number of years and how they have helped young people attend college,” says Baseler. “The brand’s mission is well-matched with our culture of supporting the community and student scholarships so this brand is a natural fit for us. With our marketing and sales strength, we are well positioned to grow the brand and raise more money for students to gain access to education.”
“O” represents “opportunity” and our vision for O Wines was to use wine as a vehicle to fund scholarships and help students improve their lives through education,” says Lill. “I am excited that Ste. Michelle Wine Estates will allow O Wines to achieve greater growth, visibility and brand awareness to help even more students attain their dreams. This is a special opportunity to have Washington’s largest winery build on the platform of our small winery for the greater good of the community and the state through education.”