Riverland Vineyards to Acquire Simi Winery

Fairport, NY, April 5, 1999 – Riverland Vineyards, the premium wine division of Canandaigua Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBRNA and CBRNB), announced today that it has reached agreement to purchase Simi Winery from the luxury goods group LVMH. The purchase includes the winery, equipment, vineyards, inventory and worldwide ownership of the Simi brand name. The transaction will be completed upon obtaining necessary regulatory approvals.

Richard Sands, Chief Executive Officer of Canandaigua Brands, Inc., said, "We have been looking for a world-class property to add to our Riverland portfolio for some time. The purchase of Simi reinforces Riverland Vineyards’ commitment to the super- and ultra-premium segments of the wine market."

Bill Newlands, Canandaigua’s Vice President and General Manager of Table Wines who, prior to being hired by Canandaigua earlier this year, served as CEO and President for both Simi Winery and Domaine Chandon, added, "Simi is one of the most important names in the California wine industry. For more than a century, the Simi name has been synonymous with quality and innovation. Simi is universally regarded as one of the world’s finest producers of Cabernet and Chardonnay wines and consistently receives scores in the 90’s from America’s top wine publications."

Riverland Vineyards was established by Canandaigua Brands in 1997 as a vehicle to focus on opportunities in the growing premium wine category. Other properties in the Riverland portfolio include:

  • Mystic Cliffs – varietal wines from the coastal regions of California with the emphasis on the winery’s 1600 acres of prime vineyards in Monterey County

  • Dunnewood – The Dunnewood Vineyards and Winery in Ukiah, California, dates back to 1942. The winery harvests the finest fruit from Lake, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties

  • Via Firenze from Napa Valley and Vina Santa Carolina from Chile

    Canandaigua Brands, Inc., headquartered in Fairport, New York, is a leading producer and marketer of beverage alcohol brands. As the second largest supplier of wine, the second largest importer of beer and the fourth largest supplier of distilled spirits, Canandaigua Brands is the largest single-source supplier of these products in the United States. Canandaigua Brands is also a leading provider of wine and cider, as well as the premier independent wholesaler of beverage alcohol products, in the United Kingdom.