Winemaker passes Clos du Bois bottle to Constellation
The world's largest winemaker said Monday it has agreed to acquire the parent firm of several premium California wine labels, including the popular Clos du Bois brand.
Fairport, N.Y.-based Constellation Brands will pay $855 million for the domestic wine operations of Deerfield, Ind.-based Fortune Brands, which also owns such retail labels as Courvoisier, Jim Beam, Kitchen Craft, Master Lock, Moen and Titleist.
The deal will give Constellation ownership of the Clos du Bois, Geyser Peak, Wild Horse, Buena Vista Carneros and Gary Farrell labels, as well as about 1,500 acres of vineyards in Sonoma and Napa counties.
Fortune sells nearly 2.6 million cases of wine annually. Close to 2 million of these cases are of the Clos du Bois label, which Fortune describes as the nation’s No. 2 wine brand in the super-premium category.
The deal, which could close before the end of the year, will build on Constellation's California wine holdings, which include Ravenswood, Inglenook and the prestigious Robert Mondavi label.
The $5.22 billion-a-year Constellation operates about 60 wineries worldwide, and its wines are sold under more than 250 brand names. In addition to being the leading U.S. winemaker, the firm also leads wine industry sales in Great Britain, Canada and Australia. It addition to its wine labels, Constellation is also the parent firm of the makers of brands such as Black Velvet Canadian whiskey, Fleischmann’s vodka and Corona Extra and St. Pauli Girl beer.