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Constellation Brands reports first quarter wine sales increase

Constellation Brands Inc., owner of such local brands as Napa’s Robert Mondavi and Healdsburg’s Simi, reported on Thursday a 2% increase in net sales for its wine and spirits division in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.

The Victor, N.Y., company that has downsized its wine portfolio in recent years to focus on more premium brands said the $465 million in sales for the period ending in May was driven by such brands as Meiomi, Kim Crawford, SIMI and The Prisoner Wine Co.

It said that for the rest of the fiscal year that net sales for wine and spirits should decline from 1% to 3%. The company also announced that it would recommend to shareholders to approve a proposal to eliminate its Class B common stock, which has been used by the Sands family to exercise control over the company.

Windsor winery hires new DTC director

Rob Lorenz has joined Notre Vue Estate Winery & Vineyards in Windsor as director of hospitality and direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales.

Lorez has more than 25 years of direct-to-consumer marketing and sales experience in the wine business, including stints with Chalk Hill Estate, Sterling Vineyards and Geyser Peak.

He has worked as an instructor and trainer for the WISE Academy since its inception in 2009 and has also acted as its director of business development, the winery stated.

“We are thrilled that someone of Rob’s caliber and DTC expertise has joined our team and will help us grow the experiences we offer guests both in the tasting room and in the vineyard,” said a statement from Estate General Manager Geoffrey Thompson and proprietor Reneé Stein.

Notre Vue Estate was founded in 1992 by Stein and her late husband, Bob. It encompasses 710 acres of land in both the Chalk Hill and Russian River Valley appellations. The vineyards are planted to 16 grape varieties on elevations ranging from 200 to 700 feet.

Alexander Valley Winegrowers to hold September wine festival

Alexander Valley Winegrowers trade group will host it Access Alexander Valley event on Sept. 2 at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville.

Wineries from the region in northeast Sonoma County that will be pouring wine at the event include Alexander Valley Vineyards, Acta, Carpenter, Pech Merle and Ferrari-Carano. There also will be food by such restaurants as KinSmoke BBQ, Yay! Paella, Yatai Japanese Yakitori and Tuck Box Indian cuisine.

Tickets are $150 per person and go on sale July 7. They can be purchased at alexandervalley.org/access-alexander-valley.

The North Bay Business Journal contributed to this article. Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com.

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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