Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wine News - SF Chronicle: Constellation Brands buys several California premium wine labels

Some interesting news coming out of Cali, the mega winemaker, Constellation is buying several high end labels in Napa and Sonoma...from the San Franscisco Chronicle below:


Constellation Brands buys several California premium wine
labels
Sam Zuckerman,
Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Constellation Brands, the world's biggest winemaker, said Monday that it has agreed to buy several well-known premium labels, including the popular Clos du Bois brand, a major addition to its California operations.

The company, based in upstate New York, will pay $885 million for the U.S. wine business of Fortune Brands, which also includes the Geyser Peak, Wild Horse, Buena Vista Carneros and Gary Farrell labels. As part of the deal, Constellation is acquiring about 1,500 acres of vineyards in Sonoma and Napa counties.

The Fortune wines sell approximately 2.6 million cases annually. Clos du Bois, which Fortune
describes as the nation's No. 2 super-premium wine brand, represents about 2 million cases of that total.

The deal, which could close before year-end, builds on Constellation's existing California wine business. The company catapulted to the top rank of Northern California wine production in 2004 when it agreed to buy Robert Mondavi, one of winemaking's most prestigious names...
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I don't know what type of impact this will have on these specific labels, but I always find it interesting - the struggle of the family owned or smaller winery verse the large conglomerate. I guess I tend to get caught up in the romanticism of the family wineries opposed to drinking wine from a mega-producer. But I guess at the end of the day, it's all about the quality of wine. But two wines together one owned by a multi-national and the other owned by a small group of investors, I'll go with the little guy. (Did I mention I like the movie Rudy)


On a slightly separate note, I did read that the 2004 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve - recently ranked number nine on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2007 list - because of the sale to Constellation will be the last vintage produced by the family . Might be worth picking up a few bottles for that reason alone.


GrapeNut

1 comment:

Rodney said...

Like California wines, California wine labels have come a long way since the 1970s. What started out as an afterthought in the grand scheme of wine making has evolved into a highly sophisticated art form--and business. With thousands of wines competing for shelf space, having an effective has label become nearly as important as making good wine.

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rodney
california dui