Constellation Brands has completed the previously-announced Widmer Winery sale

Constellation Brands has completed the previously-announced Widmer Winery sale

Constellation Brands has closed the sale of its Widmer Winery in the US to L&D Acquisitions.

The transaction, for an undisclosed fee, was initially announced back in April.

The principals in L&D are members of the Hazlitt family, who are grape and wine producers for Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, located in Hector, NY. Constellation will lease back the Widmer facility, located in Naples, NY, until the end of the year and provide crushing and winemaking services for L&D for the 2010 harvest. L&D will then take full operational control of the winery by 1 January 2011.

L&D is looking to utilise the Widmer facility to produce products for Hazlitt's, among others, including core Hazlitt brands of Red Cat, White Cat, Cabin Fever and Bramble Berry.

The company expects to employ more than 21 people within the next 24 months. L&D's plans also include extensive renovation and upgrading of the winemaking facility and the redesign of the Widmer tasting room. Further, L&D plans to offer custom crush, winemaking, and warehousing services as well, a statement said.

Constellation's US$7.1m expansion of its Canandaigua Winery - to accommodate the transfer of production of its brands produced at the Widmer Winery - is planned for completion in November with products available for shipping from 1 December this year. The company said it anticipates that the expanded Canandaigua facility will produce around 20% of all wine made at Constellation's US wineries.