FAIRPORT, N.Y., Dec 04, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ, ASX: CBR), the world's largest wine company and a leading international producer and marketer of beverage alcohol brands, today recognized the 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition in the United States. Since the passage of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which occurred at 5:31:30 p.m. EST on December 5, 1933, the nation's beverage alcohol industry has experienced tremendous growth and has seen producers unite to promote responsible drinking programs and initiatives.

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"We are proud to be part of the industry that is celebrating this historic anniversary," said Rob Sands, Constellation Brands president and chief executive officer. "Since Prohibition ended 75 years ago, the beverage alcohol industry has flourished in the U.S., providing consumers with brands they enjoy and the enormous variety that stems from a free market economy. Additionally, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, we sponsor a number of programs and organizations around the world that encourage responsible drinking."

Prohibition was in effect in the United States from 1920-1933 when the 18th amendment to the Constitution made it illegal to sell, manufacture and transport beverage alcohol. However, the law failed to prevent people from producing and drinking alcohol products, and led to the production of dangerous "home brews" and the development of organized crime, increased violence and political corruption. After the repeal of Prohibition, the three-tier system of producers, distributors and retailers was established, and the industry continues to successfully function with this structure today.

Constellation Brands, which was founded in 1945 as Canandaigua Industries, traces its ancestry to the Prohibition era. "During this time, my grandfather Mack Sands, joined a New York City-based company that could sell wine because the law allowed the production and sale of alcohol for sacramental purposes," Sands continued. "Once Prohibition was abolished, he began selling bulk wine and capitalized on a growing demand for a reinvigorated beverage alcohol industry. The rest is history."

About Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands, Inc. is a leading international producer and marketer of beverage alcohol in the wine, spirits and imported beer categories, with significant market presence in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Based in Fairport, N.Y., the company has more than 250 brands, sales in about 150 countries and operates approximately 50 facilities worldwide. It is also the largest wine producer in the world and an S&P 500 Index and Fortune 500(R) company. Major brands in the company's portfolio include Corona, Black Velvet, SVEDKA Vodka, Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Ravenswood, Blackstone, Hardys, Banrock Station, Nobilo, Kim Crawford, Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs and Arbor Mist. To learn more about the company and its products, visit Constellation's Web site at www.cbrands.com.

SOURCE Constellation Brands, Inc.