(This column appeared originally in the 2/4 issue of Dan's Papers)
Don’t Worry About Winery Consolidation
HP and Compaq have merged, AT&T recently acquired Cingular Wireless and Verizon is buying WorldCom. Mergers and acquisitions are a part of every day life in the business world. And, no matter how romantic an image it might have, wine is a business. Big business.
So, it should come as no shock that the big fish in the wine pond are gulping up smaller fish all the time, including many producers of the wines you see at your local wine shop every day.
Fairly recently, Constellation Brands, already owners of the ubiquitous Franciscan Estates, Ravenswood, Simi and Estancia brands, acquired Robert Mondavi. Similarly, Diageo Chateau & Estates Wines, which is responsible for Beaulieu and Sterling wines, gobbled up Chalone Wine Group.
But what does this all mean for you, the wine lover? That really depends.