Consolidation in the wine business

This is one of the Wine Curmudgeon’s favorite topics, but it’s difficult to get people to pay attention. Too many consumers don’t understand that increased consolidation may well reduce their choices and raise the prices they pay.

The latest news? Constellation Brands, a $5.2 billion company, paid $885 million for the wine subsidiary of the company that makes Jim Beam. Constellation will get Clos du Bois, Geyser Peak, Wild Horse, Buena Vista Carneros and Gary Farrell. Constellation, incidentally, is a bigger company than PetSmart and Pizza Hut.

The always erudite Dan Berger has the best take on this: Consolidation will hurt the quality of the wine, unless everyone is paying very close attention.

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