Joseph Wagner, son of Napa Valley vintner Chuck Wagner of Caymus Vineyards fame, built his Meiomi brand into a 600,000-case-a-year ultrapremium wine over the past eight years, and now one of the world’s largest alcoholic beverage companies plans to buy it for $315 million.
Victor, N.Y.-based Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), on July 1 said it has agreed to acquire the brand from Joseph Wagner’s Rutherford-based Copper Cane, LLC.
Rob Sands, Constellation president and chief executive officer, called Meiomi “a high-growth, high-margin, scale brand.”
Wagner launched the brand in 2006 from Wagner Family Wines’ facilities. Production grew from 60,000 cases in 2010 to almost 600,000 cases last year. Sales value grew by more than 50 percent in the past 52 weeks, and the brand’s pinot noir wine is among the fastest-growing of the major varietal wines for the past 12 weeks, Sands noted, citing IRI figures.
“This strong record of growth demonstrates how well the brand resonates with consumers,” Sands said. “We are excited about Meiomi’s prospects going forward under our efficient operating structure and strong route-to-market.”
Meiomi current releases of 2013 pinot noir and chardonnay retail for $25 and $20 a bottle, respectively.
“What began as a labor of love with only modest distribution a number of years ago, has grown to become one of the best-performing and fastest-growing brands across all categories of wine,” Wagner said.
He reportedly told Shanken News Daily that the sale of Meiomi will give him funds to hopefully buy 2,000–3,000 acres of California vineyards in the next five years.
Wagner started working in the family vineyards in 1997 and started making wine at Caymus in 2005.
The deal is expected to close by the beginning of August, pending regulatory approval.