Constellation Brands maintaining Ontario wine operations

on 30/12/10 at 8:36 am

Industry

The world’s largest winery is dumping most of its non-US holdings but will remain invested in Canada, where sales of locally produced brands continue to gain favour with consumers.

U.S.-based Constellation Brands Inc. said Thursday it’s selling 80 per cent of its Australian and U.K. business, which includes such wineries as Hardys and Barossa Valley Estate, for $232 million

The company blamed challenging conditions in those regions, where a glut of grapes and price competition have made it difficult to achieve its financial goals.

While U.S.-based Constellations Brands declined to comment on its Canadian operations, which include Niagara’s Inniskillin and Jackson Triggs wineries, local grape growers and wine producers said conditions here are more favourable.

“There’s no doubt there’s a glut of grapes in Australia. We don’t have an oversupply in Ontario. We did last year, but we managed it,” said Debbie Zimmerman, spokesperson for the Grape Growers of Ontario.

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