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BROWN-FORMAN AND FETZER VINEYARDS CREATE STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

 BROWN-FORMAN AND FETZER VINEYARDS CREATE STRATEGIC ALLIANCE
 LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE: BF.A BF.B) and the Fetzer family today jointly announced they have reached a definitive agreement in principal creating a strategic alliance for Fetzer Vineyards, one of the leading United States table wine brands and one of the six largest premium California wineries. Brown-Forman will purchase substantially all of the outstanding stock of the winery, including the Fetzer and Bel Arbors brands. Fetzer family members will retain certain properties and a majority of the existing vineyards. The family will also supply grapes to the winery on an exclusive basis. Some family members will stay with the winery while others will serve on the advisory committee to facilitate an orderly transition. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction will be completed upon receipt of routine licenses and permits, customary regulatory approval and certain administrative actions.
 Fetzer Vineyards, located in Mendocino county, is one of the fastest growing wineries in California. The Fetzer family began growing grapes in 1958 and produced 2,500 cases of wine in 1968. During 1991, Fetzer Vineyards employed approximately 295 people and shipped more than 1.9 million cases of wine. Products marketed under the Fetzer and Bel Arbors labels, which are distributed nationally and exported to Canada, Japan and the U.K., have long been well regarded for quality and value. In January 1991, LOS ANGELES TIMES wine writer Dan Berger named Fetzer personnel the "Winemaking Staff of the Year." Fetzer wines have continued to win critical acclaim from wine writers and in wine competitions throughout the world.
 Mr. John Fetzer, Chairman of the Board stated, "An alliance with Brown-Forman is in the best interest of the winery, our employees and our family. Working together, we have developed a very creative structure which will permit our family to maintain a business relationship with the winery and yet allow us to realize our other objectives."
 Fetzer is a leader in organic viticultural practices with over 540 acres of certified organic grapes and plans to convert 100 acres a year to organic methods. James Fetzer, President, stated, "The family will continue to expand its interests in and commitment to our community, Mendocino County and the environment." Fetzer also maintains a five-acre bio-intensive garden which grows more than 1,200 different kinds of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers as part of one of the largest culinary research centers in the world. Marketing efforts focus on the enjoyment of food with wine in a healthy and responsible lifestyle.
 W. L. Lyons Brown, Jr., Brown-Forman's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated that "Fetzer expands our wine portfolio in California premium varietal wines, a category with significant opportunity for continued real growth. We believe that the combination of our companies' brand portfolios, marketing expertise and production facilities will result in the creation of value for our respective shareholders."
 Brown-Forman entered the wine industry in 1956 with the acquisition of The Jos. Garneau Company. Subsequent additions include the distribution rights for Korbel Champagne in 1966, which has become the leading premium domestic champagne and Bolla Italian table wine in 1968, which is one of the most well-known imported wines in America. In 1991, Brown-Forman acquired Jekel Vineyards, a highly regarded Monterey County, California producer of estate bottled wines. Brown-Forman continues to buy, market and build premium wine brands and supports this commitment with a national sales force. Brown-Forman will become the fifth largest domestic wine marketer with the inclusion of the Fetzer brands.
 Brown-Forman is one of the country's major diversified producers and marketers of fine quality consumer products, including Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Canadian Mist, Southern Comfort, Lenox China and Crystal, Dansk International Designs, Gorham Silver, Crystal and China and Hartmann Luggage. Through its Brown-Forman Beverage Company Wine Brands group, the company produces and markets Korbel Champagnes and Brandy, Jekel California Wines, Bolla, Fontana Candida, Brolio and Fontanafredda Italian wines, and Noilly Prat Vermouths.
 -0- 7/17/92
 /CONTACT: David R. Jackson, Vice President-Assistant to Chairman, Brown-Forman Corporation, 502-774-7309/
 (BF) CO: Brown-Forman Corporation; Fetzer Vineyards ST: Kentucky, California IN: LEI SU: JVN


CM -- CH008 -- 0344 07/17/92 15:27 EDT
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Date:Jul 17, 1992
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