CORPORATIONS: Biggest on the Vine

Among California's clannish winemakers, Louis Petri, 40, has long been marked as a young man headed for big things. Last week, as boss of his family's Petri Wine Co., he more than fulfilled the vintners' expectations. For a reported $16 million, he bought National Distillers' famed old Italian Swiss Colony Wine Co., the nation's third largest producer of domestic wines. In the deal, Petri acquired Italian Swiss's wineries at Asti, Lodi, and Clovis, Calif., bottling plants at Chicago and Fairview, N.J., New York's Gambarelli & Davitto distributing organization, and one of the...

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