You might say the company is the pathfinder star for a giant in the beverage business. Constellation Wines U.S. (CWUS) oversees the domestic winemaking operations of its parent, New York-based Constellation Brands. No matter the state of your pocketbook or level of wine connoisseurship, CWUS offers a complete range of US-made vintages. They include super-premium and luxury wines (Estancia, Inniskillin, Robert Mondavi Winery, Simi, and Wild Horse); premium wines (Blackstone, Woodbridge), emerging wines (Barossa, Red Guitar); and specialty and value wines (Arbor Mist, Cook's, Wild Irish Rose, Vendange).
CEO Jose Fernandez died in 2010; Jay Wright, president of Constellation Wines North America, assumed Fernandez's duties.
In order to implement a strategy of focusing on premium and above wines, in 2009 the company sold its Inglenook, Paul Masson, and Almenden operations to The Wine Group for $134 million in cash. Constellation used the funds to pay down debt so that it could better concentrate on premium wine -- which it did with that year's final integration of the operations of Clos du Bois, the number one super-premium US wine brand, as well as the luxury brand, Wild Horse. (Both labels were acquired from Fortune Brands in 2007.)
In a move to increase efficiencies, in 2009 the winemaker consolidated its distribution in key markets, signing multi-year agreements with large US beverage distributors Southern Wine & Spirits of America , Republic National Distributing Company, National Wine & Spirits, and Johnson Brothers Liquor Company.
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