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Vineyard REITs Gain Foothold

This article appears courtesy of Institutional Investor

Source: Real Estate Finance & Investment

St. Helena's Global Wine Partners has raised $250 million to fund two new ventures-- vinREIT , a new real estate investment trust focused on vineyards, and a separate private equity fund that will invest in wineries and vineyards. Separately, Vintage Wine Trust is gearing up for an initial public offering, expected later this year.

vinREIT, through a partnership with Entertainment Properties Trust , will invest in both vineyards and land fit for improvement or where vineyards will be planted, said Vic Motto , chairman and ceo of the joint venture. The company has acquired one property and while immediately concentrated on California, it is discussing possible acquisitions in Washington and Canada. All of these areas produce the higher priced, premium wines on which the REIT will focus. Individual investors are just learning about this industry, creating plenty of "missionary" work for the REIT, Motto said. Entertainment Properties Trust officials did not return calls.

The wine industry has grown at a rate that is two to three times that of the rest of the economy over the past 10 years, Motto said, noting that it is a capital-intensive, vertically integrated industry.

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