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Constellation acquires Flagstone

There was good news at the WOSA mega-tasting this week as Constellation Brands announced the acquisition of Flagstone Winery.

Constellation Europe president Troy Christensen says the move “demonstrates our commitment to the South African category”. Highly respected winemaker Bruce Jack (pictured) will play a major role in the development of the category, assuming responsibility for the production of Kumala.

According to Jack, the future success of the category will be brought about by “focusing on the vineyards”. His new employers will be hoping that this strategy – and the wealth of experience and expertise he brings to the company – will help get the Kumala brand back on track. South Africa’s leading brand has declined significantly since it was acquired in 2006, Constellation’s first move into the category.

The deal places significant financial muscle behind Flagstone’s portfolio of brands. The company currently sells approximately 300,000 six-bottle cases with portfolio of owned and joint venture products. Jack is confident that the backing of Constellation will enable the company to “develop the fighting brands that will drive the South African category”.

© Ben Grant, db 10 October 2007 

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