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The Central Bottling Company (Coca-Cola Israel) has bought the 51 percent controlling interest in the Tavor Winery, furthering its ambition to have a holding in every sector of the beverages business.

Central Bottling Company confirmed the report, which brings the soft drinks company smack into the heady realm of wine making, though refused to be drawn on the price paid.

For years the Central Bottling Company had been looking for a medium-sized or big winery to buy and turn into a subsidiary.

Now the company can boast not only soft drinks (Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta) and beers (Tuborg), tea (Nestea), mineral water (Neviot), and alcoholic and fruit drinks (Prigat), but wine as well.

At some point the Central Bottling Company had negotiated to buy the Carmel winery, but a deal never did ensue. In parallel it also cast its eye at the Barkan winery, but that was bought by arch-rival Tempo.

The deal is expected to provide synergy through the Tavor boutique winery's specialist knowhow and the developed marketing and distribution channels of the Central Bottling Company. Tavor, a joint venture by four veteran oenologist families, Sela, Korman, Ben-Tanhum and Peleg, was established in 1997 and begun producing wines commercially in 1999.