Constellation Brands, Inc., the third-largest U.S. wine producer, continues to extend its portfolio of high-end wines with the purchase of Napa Valley’s Schrader Cellars, known for cabernet sauvignon.
The agreement between Victor, N.Y.-based Constellation (NYSE: STZ, STZ.B; cbrands.com) and Calistoga-based Schrader (schradercellars.com) includes vineyard sourcing, current inventories and eight Schrader cab labels. Other terms of the deal, announced June 16, weren’t disclosed.
“Fred and Schrader will remain close to the business, sharing their knowledge, passion and insights,” the winery said on its website. “You will continue to see Fred at select events throughout the year, pouring and tasting, and Carol will continue to foster customer relationships, ensuring the Schrader story is shared and celebrated.”
“The journey for Schrader Cellars and Constellation Brands is just beginning,” said Schrader winemaker Thomas Brown in the announcement. He will continue to lead all aspects of the winemaking from vineyard to bottle. “With Constellation’s expertise and high-quality vineyards, the potential for these wines is endless.”
The Schrader brand joins Constellation’s new fine-wine organization, TRU Estates and Vineyards.
Schrader’s cabs are sourced from premier Napa Valley vineyards, including the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard in the Oakville winegrowing region of central Napa Valley. The brand is said to be the highest-rated American cabernet sauvignon portfolio, with 19 100-point (perfect) ratings from Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and JamesSuckling.com.
“Knowing Constellation’s reputation for valuing quality, integrity and customer focus as much as we do, there was no question in my mind that they are the perfect steward of Schrader wines moving forward,” Fred Schrader said in a statement. “We are impressed by their talented, dedicated team and passionate winemakers. I look forward to working with Constellation to take great care of the wines I’ve dedicated a significant part of my life cultivating.”
The deal is said to have come together by way of Carol Schrader and Bill Newlands, Constellation chief operating officer and a business associate over the years.
“The Schraders have created something truly unique and unparalleled in wine,” said Sam Glaetzer, Constellation senior vice president of wine and spirits production.
Schrader Cellars was started in 1998, during the big expansion in high-end Napa Valley cab production. Schrader CCS and Schrader Old Sparky, both sourced from Beckstoffer To Kalon, were awarded 100 points from Robert Parker of Wine Advocate for three consecutive vintages and are the only wines in the history of the Wine Spectator blind-tasting program to achieve perfect 100-point scores upon release, according to the winery.
Other cab labels are Schrader Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, Schrader GIII Beckstoffer Georges III, Schrader LPV Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard, Schrader RBS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, Schrader T6 Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard and Schrader Colesworthy Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard .
The limited-production wines are sold directly to consumers through a mailing list and via certain fine-dining establishments.
, who grew up in a multi-generational winemaking family dating back to some of the earliest recorded viticulturists in Australia, admires the contributions the Schraders have made to the world of wine. “Their unwavering commitment to quality vineyards and winemaking has built a portfolio of world-class wines with an elite and loyal consumer following. We are thrilled to be working with Thomas, Fred and Carol to help cultivate and preserve these incredible fine wines.”
More coverage of North Coast wine M&A: nbbj.news/wineMnA