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Wine International reports this morning that Constellation Brands, the world’s largest wine marketer, has signed an agreement to acquire Robert Mondavi Corp. for about $1.36 billion.

The purchase includes all of the Mondavi assets, including the luxury brands that Mondavi’s management planned to spin off – and which, according to speculation, the Mondavi family wanted to buy back.

Richard Sands, Constellation’s chairman/CEO, said in a statement: “We understand and appreciate the long, rich history of the Mondavi family, the Robert Mondavi brand and the contributions of the Robert Mondavi Corporation's dedicated employees. We fully support the fine wine vision of the Robert Mondavi Winery and are committed to further enhancing the prestige of the flagship Winery, as well as giving the Robert Mondavi brand the recognition it deserves throughout the world."

Robert Mondavi, the company’s founder, reportedly plans to remain involved in the business and serve as an ambassador for the brand.
KC's View:
Maybe this is good for the brand long-term. But we can’t help but feel sad when the business created by one of the real visionaries of the US wine industry gets swallowed up by a huge corporation.

We hope that the vision remains intact.