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Macallan buys 50% stake in Grupo Estévez

The Macallan has taken a 50% stake in Spanish producer Grupo Estévez to have exclusive supply of its Sherry casks.

Grupo Estévez
The deal marks the first time Grupo Estévez has provided its Sherry for cask seasoning

The deal – the terms of which were not disclosed – will see The Macallan and Jerez-based Sherry maker Grupo Estévez form a joint venture.

Igor Boyadjian, managing director of Edrington-owned The Macallan, said the move will provide the company with a sustainable supply of high-quality Sherry production for its Sherry-seasoned casks.

“Our partnership with Grupo Estévez builds on The Macallan’s long-standing, deep relationship with the Jerez community and with our wide range of valued suppliers in the Sherry industry that have always played a critical role in the quality of our exceptional Scotch whisky,” he said.

“We hand select our Sherry-seasoned oak casks from Jerez for richness and complexity. The partnership with Grupo Estévez demonstrates the creativity and innovation that has driven The Macallan since it was founded almost 200 years ago and continues the brand’s evolution through masters collaborating with masters.”

Grupo Estévez is led by CEO José Ramón Estévez, who will remain part of the leadership team following the deal.

Exclusive Sherry provider

Estévez said: “This will be the first time we have used our beautiful Sherry for cask seasoning, and we are so pleased that we will do this exclusively for The Macallan, which is synonymous with the highest quality Scotch whisky.

“We look forward to contributing to that quality in the years ahead through the seasoning of The Macallan casks with our Sherry.”

Grupo Estévez owns vineyards and bodegas in Jerez’s ‘Sherry Triangle’ and produces the ultra-premium Valdespino brand of Sherries and apéritifs.

Valdespino is described as one of the most historic bodegas in Jerez, dating back to 1264. Its vineyards in the Pago de Macharnudo are considered the ‘Grand Cru’ of Jerez.

As a result of the new partnership, Valdespino will join the Edrington portfolio, which includes Brugal rum, Highland Park whisky and The Famous Grouse.

Valdespino’s growth will be supported by the distribution and marketing capabilities of The Macallan in select international markets.

Scott McCroskie, CEO of Edrington, added: “The Estévez family are a perfect partner for The Macallan in Jerez, owning some of the finest Sherries and vermouths in the world, and custodians of such historic vineyards and bodegas.

“This is a partnership full of promise for The Macallan in the brand’s constant quest to continue producing exceptional quality single malt Scotch whiskies that are so well-loved by consumers around the globe.”

In other news, Edrington is facing potential strike action in Scotland from trade unions GMB and Unite over a pay dispute.

Fellow Scottish producer Ardgowan recently signed a £100 million (US$112m) deal for a decades-long supply of Sherry casks from Bodegas Miguel Martín, one of Spain’s oldest Sherry cask producers.

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