Constellation Brands has announced that it has acquired a minority stake in Booker Vineyard for its super-luxury, direct-to-consumer (DTC) focused portfolio of wines.
The spirits giant will also help Booker Vineyard to expand wholesale distribution of its Cabernet Sauvignon-based My Favorite Neighbor and Harvey & Harriet wines within the United States.
Booker Vineyard owner, Eric Jensen, will continue to lead the team in producing My Favorite Neighbor and Harvey & Harriet wines, as well as producing and selling the estate-sourced, Rhône varietal-based Booker Vineyard DTC wines, the company added.
Robert Hanson, president of wine and spirits at Constellation Brands, stated, “Eric Jensen and the Booker Vineyard team have built an exceptionally high-quality collection of Rhône-varietal wines from the Paso Robles AVA.
"They have done so while building an impressive DTC business with an exciting runway for growth, which aligns with our long-term aspirations to lead the category in DTC and 3-tier eCommerce.
“We will also look to gain insight from Eric’s farming and winemaking approach, along with the expertise of Constellation’s acclaimed master winemakers, as we continue to strengthen our fine wine portfolio,” he added.
The investment complements Constellation’s TRU Fine Wine portfolio which includes, among others, Schrader Cellars, Robert Mondavi Winery, The Prisoner Wine Company, Mount Veeder Winery, To Kalon Vineyard Company, and Ruffino Estates.
Booker Vineyard’s luxury Rhône varietal wines are priced between $30 to $165 per bottle and sold primarily through the DTC channel.
The wines have consistently received excellent scores from top critics including 100 points from Wine Advocate and an average score of 97 points from wine critic Jeb Dunnuck.
Booker Vineyard’s founder and winemaker, Eric Jensen, added, “I am a farmer and a winemaker at heart, and I have known for some time that I need a strategic partner that shares my values and brings something to the table that I don’t.
“Constellation has an amazing, growing fine wine portfolio and works with the best minds in the business. With this partnership, we will reap the benefits of Constellation’s brand building and sales expertise, plus its leading network to help us grow our business in ways I can’t on my own.”