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Constellation: Mondavi into Cellar Door portfolio

The Robert Mondavi portfolio is to sit within Cellar Door, the top-end wine division of Constellation Brands, the corporation announced yesterday.

Constellation took over the entire Robert Mondavi Corporation at the end of 2004 in a move that electrified the world wine industry, confirming the US-based behemoth as the world’s largest wine company with an annual production of around 80m cases.

Cellar Door is Constellation Europe’s super-premium and icon wine division. Mondavi will join its existing portfolio of Californian estates: Estancia, Franciscan Oakville Estate, Mount Veeder, Quintessa, Ravenswood and Simi as well as estates in Chile, New Zealand and Australia.

Constellation Europe CEO Christopher Carson said, ‘We are committed to adding value to the Californian sector and by placing the Robert Mondavi portfolio of wines in Cellar Door I am confident that we will drive the “above £6” Californian category in the UK.’

The sale of Mondavi to Constellation has not met with unqualified approval in the wine world. In the latest issue of Wine Advocate, Robert Parker meditates on the key role Robert Mondavi has played in ‘the importance of wine in North American civilization’, and laments the closing of a chapter as the sale was approved.

‘Hopefully much of the Mondavi spirit, soul and creativity will somehow be salvaged under this new entity, though it is hard to know what a giant corporation will do.’

Cellar Door manager Marina Gayan MW said in a statement they were proud to have ‘one of the greatest names in the New World’ in their portfolio.

‘Like the other estates in the Cellar Door division, Robert Mondavi reflects great tradition and history, as well as fine winemaking and innovation – all of which we are committed to upholding.’

Written by Adam Lechmere

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