Rumors have been flying around the North Fork for a couple weeks, but today Lieb Cellars and Premium Wine Cellars made it official in a press release:

Today, Lieb Cellars and Premium Wine Group (PWG) announced the merger of the two companies. Established in 1992 and 2000 respectively, these
important North Fork wine companies are combining and recapitalizing to ensure continued growth.

Russell Hearn, Director of Winemaking and Production,said: “We are using the collective, and considerable, talents of our team to continue developing award-winning, estate-produced wines and other products and services.”

The combined companies have received substantial funding through their parent company Southport Lane, a private equity firm focused on growing its portfolio businesses, primarily comprised of complex, highly-regulated organizations. Southport Lane selected Lieb Cellars and PWG based on their exceptional offerings, including a rare, East-coast-based “custom crush” business, which is the production home ofmany North Fork wineries.

In addition, Peter Pace, who has been with the companies for the past 14 months, has been appointed Managing Director. Pace brings extensive beverage industry expertise to his new position and will be responsible for running the day-to-day business of the combined companies.

Alexander Burns, Chief Strategist at Southport Lane,said: “The team’s passion for the business reflects our belief in the strength and quality of these companies. The combination of our expertise, along with Peter’s marketing strengths, gives us an even stronger operation.”

Mark Lieb, who founded Lieb Cellars and co-founded Premium Wine Group, will remain as Chairman of
the Board of the combined company.