SATYRICON Frontman Sold 90% Of His Wine Business For Millions

July 7, 2020

According to Dagens Næringsliv, SATYRICON frontman Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven sold 90% of his wine company, Wongraven Wines, in 2019 to Vingruppen, owned by wine and spirits producer Arcus.

Dagens Næringsliv obtained Vingruppen's 2019 financial records that showed shares in Wongraven Wines were valued at NOK 51.3 million, which is about $5.4 million.

In 2019, Wongraven Wines had sales of NOK 6.6 million (approximately $700,000),ending the year with a profit of NOK 3.7 million ($390,000) before tax.

Since 2009, Sigurd Wongraven has developed and sold quality wines in Norway. From 2014, this has been done in collaboration with Vingruppen.

Satyr's portfolio includes the popular Wongraven Morgenstern Riesling, Wongraven Alleanza Langhe Rosso and Wongraven Champagne. He blends the wines himself and works closely with the winemakers on both viticulture and vinification. In addition, Sigurd does all design development together with his network of artists and designers. The wines are produced organically, or according to organic principles.

Sales have more than quadrupled since 2015, and in the 12 months ending last December, Norway's liquor and wine monopoly Vinmonopolet sold nearly one million liters of wine from Wongraven. The brand is thus the tenth largest in the Norwegian market.

Despite Wongraven Wines being majority-owned by Vingruppen, all the work Sigurd Wongraven does to produce fantastic wines continues as before. Symposium Wines also continues to be responsible for the sale of the brand in Norway.

About a decade ago, Satyr partnered with Luca Roagna, a fifth-generation winemaker from Piedmont, Italy, to launch the musician's own brand of wine.

Wongraven and Roagna first met in the spring of 2003 while SATYRICON was on tour in Italy and spent several months in 2010 creating two classic wines that represented a combination of Roagna's skilled vineyard work and Satyr's vision of traditional Piedmontese wines.

Wongraven also has a number of other wine projects. He has collaborated with Baron-Fuente to make 100% organic Champagnes, and Remy and Armin Grassa to create Bordeaux-style whites.

Two years ago, Satyr told that his wine was primarily only available in his home country.

"Some of the wines that I have are, thankfully, extremely successful in the Norwegian market," he said. "Looking at my white wine, it is the most sold white wine in its price category in Norway, and it's four times the volume of number two. And they have currently in the Norwegian wine monopoly retail sysem, they have more than 17,000 products — beer, spirits and wine; the vast majority is wine — more than 17,000. And my white wine is in the Top 50 of the most sold products. So we're having a really, really hard time getting enough of the right quality to make blends. And we manage, but we work really, really hard to make sure that we can get enough of the right quality, as I said. So then it's hard for us to think about, 'I should be exporting this to England,' because we can barely serve the Norwegian market."

In a 2019 interview with Wines Of Germany, Satyr was asked if it is possible to draw a parallel between the black metal scene and the wine world. He responded: "Yes, of course. The main reason I can make good blends is the experience, intuition and confidence I have when I work. I know what I want, what it requires from me, and I have vast experience in trusting the process. That is how music is made, and wine is no different, I have learned. You must have a vision and commit to it."

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