Fiji Water Controversy: The company that owns Fiji Water and Pom Wonderful juice just bought another California winery from a former race-car driver.
Lewis Cellars, which makes high-end wines that have won awards, will be the first Napa Valley winery owned by the Wonderful Company. It will join Justin Vineyards and Landmark Vineyards in Paso Robles and Sonoma. The brand and the Lewis Cellars winery on Big Ranch Road in Napa are part of the deal, but no vineyards are.
No one said what the deal was for. A statement says that Randy Lewis, who started the winery with his late wife Debbie after he retired from racing cars, will continue to run the business. Lewis and his wife Debbie started the winery after he stopped racing. The first to tell the news was Wine Spectator. Randy Lewis’s stepson, president Dennis Bell, and winemaker James McCeney will also stay on.
Bell said that he and Randy Lewis had “been looking for a compatible partner to take Lewis Cellars to the next level while keeping the quality and consistency of our wines.” Bell said that the Wonderful Company was a good buyer because it had “huge resources and established partnerships.”
Clarence Chia, a senior vice president at Wonderful Company-owned Justin Vineyards, said that the new owners will be able to share the great wines that Lewis makes with more people. Lewis makes about 10,000 cases of wine a year at the moment.
The wine collection of Steward and Lynda Resnick’s Wonderful Company has grown steadily over the last ten years. In 2010, it bought Justin, one of the most well-known winemakers in the Central Coast area of Paso Robles. The next year, it bought Landmark Vineyards. In 2016, the company bought Hop Kiln Vineyards in Healdsburg and added it to the Landmark brand. Wonderful made its own rosé label, called JNSQ, which is an acronym for the French phrase “je ne sais quoi.” The label came out in 2019.
The Resnicks have made wine that has caused a lot of trouble. In 2016, they decided to cut down 100 acres of oak trees near the Justin winery so they could build a reservoir and a new vineyard. This caused a lot of backlash from the wine community in the area.
The Resnicks admitted that they had broken the rules of their use permit and apologized for cutting down the tree.
The couple, whose wealth is estimated at $5 billion, has also been criticized for how much water their company used for farming in California when there was a drought.
With the purchase of Lewis Cellars, Wonderful’s portfolio of wineries has gained a lot of prestige. The rich, structured Cabernet Sauvignons from Lewis can sell for up to $175 per bottle. In 2016, Wine Spectator magazine named one of its 2013 Cabernets the Wine of the Year. Chia said, “Lewis Cellars is the perfect winery to help us expand into the Napa Valley area because of its long history, high quality, and pedigree.” “Adding Lewis Cellars to our portfolio lets us offer more, not just in terms of geography but also in terms of sought-after, award-winning luxury wines.”
Fiji Water wiki
Fiji Water is a brand of bottled water that comes from Fiji, where it is bottled and shipped. The water comes from an artesian aquifer on the island of Viti Levu, according to marketing materials. The main office for Fiji Water is in Los Angeles, California. It comes in bottles with capacities of 330 ml, 500 ml, 700 ml, 1 litre (0.22 imp gal; 0.26 US gal), and 1.5 litres.
Fiji Water History
David Gilmour, a Canadian businessman, started Fiji Water in 1996. At the time, it was called Natural Waters of Viti Ltd. Gilmour sold Fiji Water to Roll Global, which is now called The Wonderful Company. Roll Global bought Fiji Water from Gilmour in 2004 for an estimated US$50 million. The holding company that the Resnicks own is also in charge of Teleflora, POM Wonderful, and Suterra.
The company made $85 million in sales in 2009.
Late in 2010, Fiji Water bought Justin Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles, California, US, so that their brand could be used on a wider range of products. It makes Bordeaux and Syrah wines in the style of California that are sold all over the world.