Corporate dollars can purchase equipment, land and even personnel, all of which can contribute to better wine in the bottle.
Corporate influence also can place too much emphasis on the bottom line, substituting quantity for quality with an eye ever focused on expansion.
Through the years, we've seen corporate acquisitions of wineries go in both directions. Ultimately, the best deals fall somewhere in the middle - providing the vintner with the technology and tools needed to improve quality, without stifling his or her creativity.
So, we'll be closely following the developments at Washington's Canoe Ridge and Sageland wineries, which recently were acquired by Precept Wines.
Hopes are high for these properties. For one thing, they already had been under the large corporate tent of Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines and were faring quite well. Precept actually is a smaller company, privately owned and based in Seattle.
Precept presently operates seven tasting rooms and owns more than 3,700 acres of vineyards.
In a press release, Precept CEO Andrew Browne said, "The addition of Canoe Ridge and Sagelands to our portfolio of wines greatly strengthens our commitment to winemaking in Washington state."