Constellation buys Napa’s Schrader Cellars

Drinks giant Constellation Brands has purchased one of Napa Valley’s cult wines, Schrader Cellars, for an undisclosed amount, bolstering the wine group’s premium wine offerings.

The deal, first reported by Wine Spectator, includes the brand and its existing contracts with distinguished vineyards, as well as its 2015 and 2016 vintages in addition to part of the winery’s inventory.

Schrader Cellars, most known for its benchmark ‘Old Sparky’ Cabernet Sauvingon from Beckstoffer To Kalon vineyard in Oakville, has been consistently voted among the most expensive American wines by Wine Searcher for years.

The deal was described by the winery owner Fred Schrader as making “perfect sense,” wrote the American magazine. “They’re committed to keeping this an elite brand and build on it. For me, it’s my legacy,” the winemaker commented, who has no heirs or children.

Longtime winemaker Thomas Brown will continue in his role. Once the deal is complete, Constellation which also owns Robert Mondavi winery, will bring on board its winemaker Genevieve Janssens to decide which parcels of the Mondavi To Kalon vineyard Cabernet will remain with Mondavi, and which might be merged with Schrader.

Fred Schrader co-founded Colgin Cellars with his then wife Ann Colgin before launching Schrader in 1998. The winery produces eight highly acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignons – Schrader Cabernet Sauvignon, Schrader ‘CCS’, ‘Colesworthy’, ‘GIII’, ‘LPV’, ‘Old Sparky’, ‘RBS’ and ‘T6’.

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