Constellation major wine sale

Constellation,Geyser Peak,Gary Farrell News Wine News
  • Wednesday 11 June 2008

Constellation Brands has sold eight wine properties for US$209m.

The sale – to new Healdbsburg, California-based wine company Ascentia Wine Estates – includes wineries from California, Washington and Ohio, responsible for some 1m cases a year.

The wineries are: Geyser Peak Winery in Alexander Valley, the Napa-based Atlas Peak brand, Sonoma Valley’s Buena Vista Carneros, Healdsburg’s Gary Farrell Winery, Washington’s Columbia Winery and Covey Run, and Idaho’s Ste Chapelle.

There is also 260ha of prime vineyard land in Napa and Sonoma.

Constellation CEO Rob Sands said the sale will aid in ‘streamlining Constellation’s US wine portfolio by eliminating duplication and excess production capacity.’

The California wineries are all part of Beam Wine Estates, which Constellation bought in December last year for US$885m.

It has retained other Beam brands including the Clos du Bois and Wild Horse labels.

The sale will allow the company's wine divisions to focus on key brands, according to Constellation spokeswoman Nora Feeley. ‘It was more than a financial decision,’ she said.

Ascentia is a syndicate that includes major investors GESD Capital Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity fund, New York wine distributor WJ Deutsch & Sons and Jim DeBonis, former chief operating officer of Beam Wine Estates.

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