Constellation to merge wineries

11 September, 2009

Constellation Brands is closing its Widmer Winery in Naples, New York State, and moving production to an expanded Canandaigua Winery.

The move will mean that Manischewitz, Widmer, Paul Masson and Taylor wines will be made at Canandaigua – also in New York – from 2011.

The Widmer property will be donated to the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Constellation Brands chief executive Rob Sands said: “We are pleased to make this investment in the Canandaigua Winery to increase its production capacity and improve operational efficiencies.

“While this investment is right for our business, it was also important to us that we find the right opportunity for the future of Widmer Winery. RIT has a long-standing commitment to enhancing the local community and is looking at the property for possible use for sustainable wine education to benefit the wine industry, the community and the college.”

The company says there will be opportunities for many of the Widmer employees at the Canandaigua Winery as a result of the expansion.

Jeremy Haefner, RIT’s senior vice president for academic affairs, said: “RIT will explore the development of academic degree programmes particularly suited for sustainable production in the wine industry.

“This will be a great opportunity for RIT to evaluate the potential of engaging the wine industry in the emerging green technologies that will define leading edge sustainable production for the 21st century.”