Baarsma Wine Group Holding and Constellation Europe are to strengthen their working relationship from the start of October, with a distribution deal that will see the Benelux distributor take on a large number of Constellation brands.

The distribution, marketing and sales deal, confirmed yesterday (7 August), includes the leading Australian wine brand Hardys and brands such as Banrock Station, Echo Falls, Da Luca, Robert Mondavi and Nobilo. These brands will be added to Baarsma's various specialised business units.

"Our very intensive cooperation with Constellation Europe Ltd. is a big step ahead in our strategy to improve our service to  clients and consumers based on strong international brands", said Cees de Rade, COO of Baarsma.

"In the future this kind of cooperation between big market orientated organisations like Constellation and Baarsma will make the difference in a very fragmented wine market", said Paul Koks senior vice president Constellation mainland Europe.

Earlier this year, Baarsma sold a majority stake in the company to private equity firm ABN AMRO Capital for an undisclosed sum. Baarsma, which is based in Holland but exports to 28 countries, owns a slew of wine distributors, including Wine Excel, Hasselt Millesime and Wijnvoordeel.