Constellation Brands' Banrock Station Wines Announces C$1.25 million Milestone Sponsorship to Return Native Atlantic Salmon to Lake Ontario

TORONTO and FAIRPORT, N.Y., April 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- One of the world's leading environmentally conscious wine brands, Banrock Station Wines, announced today that it is donating C$1.25 million through the Banrock Station Wetlands Foundation Canada to Bring Back the Salmon, a five-year project to restore reproducing populations of native Atlantic Salmon to Lake Ontario.

Native Atlantic Salmon disappeared from Lake Ontario over 100 years ago as a direct result of human infringement on their habitat. The milestone sponsorship is Banrock Station Wines' largest single donation anywhere in the world in its 11 year history.

Banrock Station Manager Tony Sharley stated, "Bring Back the Salmon is one of the most exciting and challenging projects Banrock Station has been involved with. Banrock Station Wines is globally-renowned for its support of wetland and native species restoration. Our C$1.25 million contribution to help restore native Atlantic Salmon to Lake Ontario will create a legacy of which every member of the Banrock Station team around the world can be proud."

Sharley said Banrock Station -- through its global environmental partnerships -- has shown exceptional leadership in the area of wetland restoration, most notably at Banrock Station itself, a 4200-acre wetland and bushland on the banks of the River Murray, in South Australia. Banrock Station has worked with various environmental organizations over the past eleven years to rehabilitate the property, which in 2002 received the RAMSAR Wetland Conservation Award and was recognized as a "Wetland of International Importance".

Bring Back the Salmon brings together three conservation-minded partners - Banrock Station Wines, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) -- in an enterprise that will see the return of a significant part of Ontario's natural heritage.

Once abundant in Lake Ontario, Atlantic Salmon provided an important source of food for Ontario's Native people and its early European settlers. By 1900, the species disappeared because of human infringement on its habitat.

The announcement today at the historic Balmy Beach Club on the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto, was made jointly by David Orazietti, Parliamentary Assistant to David Ramsay, Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources, LCBO President and COO Bob Peter, Mike Reader, OFAH Executive Director, and Andrew Thiele, Hardy Wine Company, Vice President North America.

Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay commented that "the Ontario government is working to protect the natural environment and improve our biodiversity. Restoring Atlantic Salmon will have wide-ranging environmental benefits throughout the Lake Ontario watershed and will help improve the health of the aquatic ecosystem."

As part of the Bring Back the Salmon announcement, Banrock Station today unveiled its new, environmentally-friendly 1 Litre Tetra Pak wine packages. Available in three varietals -- Unwooded Chardonnay, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon -- these new wines will be highlighted on feature displays from April 27th to May 20th in LCBO stores across Ontario.

The LCBO will be contributing C$250,000 to Bring Back the Salmon from its Natural Heritage Fund, proceeds for which are raised through the sale of reusable cloth Envirobags at LCBO stores across Ontario.

Philip Olsson, LCBO Acting Chair and CEO, said "we're delighted that Banrock Station is making such a strong commitment to Ontario's natural environment and helping restore this native Ontario species. We're also pleased they are offering their popular wines in packaging that allows consumers to support a healthy environment."

LCBO President and COO Bob Peter noted that "we are pleased that our Environmental Strategy has been the catalyst for such an important achievement for Ontario's Natural Heritage."

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters will bring its many years of species restoration expertise to Bring Back the Salmon. "We are pleased to welcome the support of the LCBO and Banrock Station Wines for this major conservation project," said Mike Reader, Executive Director of the OFAH. Together with the Ministry of Natural Resources staff and our many dedicated volunteers, we can now move ahead swiftly to deliver this massive conservation project."

Banrock Station Wines, the LCBO, and the OFAH will be working with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Sir Sanford Fleming College (Lindsay Campus), Trout Unlimited Canada, and numerous other conservation-minded organizations to accomplish the work of Bring Back the Salmon - Lake Ontario.

That work will begin immediately and a website (http://www.bringbackthesalmon.ca) has been established so that anyone interested in charting the project's progress can do so.

SOURCE Constellation Brands /CONTACT: Tony Sharley, Manager, Banrock Station, Kingston-on-Murray, South Australia, +61-418-808-475; or Mark Donaldson, Communications Director, Churchill Cellars Limited, Toronto, Ontario, +1-416-368-5108; or Scott Montgomery, National Sales & Marketing of Constellation Wines Canada, Toronto, Canada, +1-416-236-5533; or Mike Martin, Vice President - Corporate Communications, of Constellation Brands, Inc., Fairport, New York, +1-585-218-3669, Mike.martin@cbrands.com / /Web site: http://www.cbrands.com http://www.bringbackthesalmon.ca / (STZ STZB)