Our Bold Path

Success is built on bold decisions and calculated risk. From humble beginnings to redefining how people celebrate life, this is our story…

  • All
  • 1945

    Humble Beginnings

    At the age of 21, Marvin Sands purchases Canandaigua Industries in upstate NY. With only eight employees, he sells bulk wine in barrels to bottlers in the East. In this first year, the company sells approximately 200,000 gallons of wine and has gross sales of $150,000.

  • 1951

    A Growing Business

    Canandaigua Industries registers $1 million in sales, split evenly between bulk wines sold to other bottlers and branded case wines sold to their various distributors.

  • 1954

    Building a Winning Brand

    The introduction of the Richard's Wild Irish Rose brand spearheads the growth of the company. Its unique franchising system helps the brand grow rapidly, allowing Canandaigua Industries to develop its own wine production facilities to meet the explosive demand for Wild Irish Rose.

  • 1961

    Rapid Growth

    Canandaigua Industries doubles its gross sales from $4 million to $8 million in just two years.

  • 1973

    Going Public

    The company changes its name to Canandaigua Wine Company, Inc. and trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • 1974

    Heading West

    Brand acquisitions in the 1970s fuel the company's growth, and in 1974 the company heads west to acquire a majority interest in the Bisceglia Brothers Winery in Madera, California. This gave the company access to a large varietal wine market in the western United States

  • 1979

    A Family Business

    Marvin’s son Richard Sands joins the company, starting in the winemaking lab.

  • 1979

    A Sparkling Triumph

    J. Roget Champagne, which quickly becomes the second-largest selling champagne brand in the U.S.

  • 1980

    Boom Years

    Canandaigua Wine Company becomes the eighth-largest U.S. wine producer with net sales reaching $50.5 million.

  • 1984

    Gimme Some Sun

    Sun Country Cooler launches nationwide. The brand catches like wildfire across the United States, selling 1 million cases within six months and becomes the #2 best-selling wine cooler.

  • 1986

    Continuing a Legacy

    Marvin’s son Rob Sands joins the company as general counsel.

  • 1987

    Expanding Our Wine Family

    Widmer Wine Cellars, one of the most successful and popular producers of table wine on the east coast, and Manischewitz, the best-selling brand in kosher wines, become part of the company.

  • 1990

    A Growing Portfolio

    Canandaigua Wine Company markets 100 brands in all wine classifications.

  • 1993

    A Diversified Portfolio

    With the addition of Barton Incorporated, Canandaigua Wine Company doubles in size. The acquisition further diversifies the company into the imported beer and distilled spirits categories.

  • 1993

    Passing the Torch

    Richard Sands becomes president and chief executive officer of the Canandaigua Wine Company.

  • 1994

    On a Mission

    The purchase of the Mission Bell Winery in California includes the Almaden and Inglenook wine brands and a grape juice concentrate business. With these acquisitions, Canandaigua Wine Company owns and operates four of the five major wine brands in the United States: Almaden, Paul Masson, Inglenook, and Taylor California Cellars.

  • 1997

    A Total Beverage Alcohol Company

    The company becomes Canandaigua Brands, Inc., parent company of Canandaigua Wine Company and Barton Incorporated, following a decade of acquisitions resulting in a diversified product portfolio. Company net sales reach $1.1 billion.

  • 1995

    Cider House Rules

    Matthew Clark, plc, one of the U.K.'s leading producers of British wines, cider and bottled waters is acquired. This expands the company's portfolio to include K Cider, Blackthorn Cider, QC Sherry (the #1 Fortified British wine) and Stowells of Chelsea, the leading boxed wine in the U.K.

  • 1998

    Fruitful Innovation

    The launch of Arbor Mist results in the creation of a new wine category - "Wine With Fruit.” It is one of the most-transformational product launches in the company's history, shipping more than 1 million cases in its first 100 days of distribution. By fall of 1998, it had already captured 1.2% of the U.S. wine market.

  • 1999

    Black Velvet Smooth

    The company acquires eight Canadian whisky brands and production facilities, including Black Velvet, the #3 Canadian whisky brand in the U.S.

  • 1999

    Entering the Premium Category

    Canandaigua Brands purchases SIMI Winery and Franciscan Vineyards. Brands in the acquisition include Estancia, Franciscan, Mount Veeder, and Simi.

  • 1999

    A Star Dims

    Company founder Marvin Sands passes away after more than 50 years of leading the company. His son, Richard Sands becomes chairman of the board.

  • 2000

    Becoming Constellation

    The company changes its name to Constellation Brands, Inc. to better reflect its broad range of brands across wine, spirits & beer.

  • 2001

    Fine Wines

    Constellation acquires Ravenswood, the best-selling premium zinfandel in the U.S., and several wines from Turner Road Vintners.

  • 2001

    A "New World" Partnership

    Constellation enters into a joint venture with BRL Hardy called Pacific Wine Partners which allowed the company to import some of BRL Hardy’s Australian and New Zealand wines.

  • 2003

    Elevating Constellation to New Heights

    Pacific Wine Partners, a 50/50 joint venture of Constellation and BRL Hardy, becomes a wholly owned subsidiary and the Australian arm of the business and is renamed Hardy Wine Co. With the acquisition, Constellation becomes the world's largest producer and marketer of wine, and the first truly international wine company with sales of more than 80 million cases of wine annually. Constellation also adds the New Zealand business to the company, welcoming the iconic Kim Crawford brand to our portfolio.

  • 2003

    Investing in Premium

    Constellation acquires Robert Mondavi, adding some of the most respected premium and super-premium wines in the world to its portfolio, including 50% of Opus One. In this same year Constellation purchases 40% of Ruffino, further enhancing the company's portfolio of fine European wines.

  • 2005

    Project Genome

    Constellation embarks on “Project Genome,” the largest study on wine consumers ever, to help better understand their profiles and market and develop wines targeted to their lifestyles.

  • 2005

    A Winning Strategy

    Standard & Poor's adds Constellation Brands to its S&P 500 Index of companies, attesting to the success of the company’s growth strategy and increased stockholder value.

  • 2006

    The Crown Jewels

    Grupo Modelo and Constellation Brands create a joint venture to import and market Modelo's Mexican beer portfolio into the United States and Guam for a 10-year period. The premium beer portfolio includes Corona and Modelo Especial, along with imported brands St. Pauli Girl and Tsingtao.

  • 2006

    Constellation Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center Opens

    The Constellation Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua, New York, named for Constellation's founder, opens after a $13 million renovation. Marvin was instrumental in founding its previous iteration, the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center, because he realized the important role that arts and culture plays in the quality of the community.

  • 2006

    O Canada!

    The acquisition of Canadian wine company Vincor International is completed. Included are Canada's biggest wine brand, Jackson-Triggs, and Inniskillin, a premier international icewine. With the purchase, Canada becomes Constellations’ fifth core market (with the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand). Constellation inherits Vincor's position as Canada's largest wine producer and marketer.

  • 2007

    Premium Acquisitions

    Constellation acquires iconic wine brands Clos du Bois and Wild Horse. Constellation also completes its acquisition of Spirits Marque One, which owns SVEDKA Vodka. SVEDKA, an 80-proof premium vodka produced in Sweden, is the fastest-growing major premium spirits brand in the world for the five-year period ending in 2007.

  • 2007

    Handing Over the Reigns

    Rob Sands is named Constellation's new CEO and president. Richard Sands continues his role as chairman of the board.

  • 2009

    Focusing on the High-End

    Constellation completes the sale of its value spirits business and increases its focus on higher-margin, mid-premium spirits brands.

  • 2009

    Going Solar

    One of the world’s largest winery solar panel installations is completed at the Gonzales Winery in California.

  • 2011

    Selling the Australian and U.K. Business

    Constellation completes the sale of its Australian and U.K. business.

  • 2012

    Building an Iconic Wine Portfolio

    Constellation purchases remaining 60% of Ruffino, an internationally recognized Old World wine brand that sets the standard for Italian wines. The company also acquires Mark West, one of the fastest-growing major pinot noirs in the market.

  • 2013

    Crowning Achievement

    Constellation acquires Grupo Modelo’s U.S. beer business, which provides Constellation with a state-of-the-art brewery in Nava, Coahuila Mexico and exclusive perpetual brand license in the U.S. to import, market and sell Corona and the Modelo brands and the freedom to develop brand extensions and innovations for the U.S. market.

  • 2014

    In High Spirits

    The award-winning Casa Noble family of tequilas includes Casa Noble Crystal, Reposado and Añejo as well as limited production of several other higher-end Casa Noble tequilas.

  • 2014

    Nourishing Neighbors

    In support of Constellation’s commitment to giving back, employees launched a global Nourishing Neighbors program. The program highlights an annual week of giving where employees take paid time off to volunteer at local food banks. Employees and the company also donate food and money to fight food insecurity in their communities.

  • 2014

    Making Glass

    Constellation finalizes a joint venture with Owens-Illinois (O-I) and acquires a state-of-the-art glass production plant, located adjacent to Constellation’s brewery in Nava, Coahuila, Mexico.

  • 2015

    Strengthening Our High-End Positioning

    Constellation acquires the Meiomi luxury wine brand, which ranks #1 in dollar sales growth across all pinot noir price points at the time of purchase. Constellation also purchases San Diego-based Ballast Point, one of the fastest growing craft beer companies in the U.S. The purchase provides Constellation with a high-growth, premium platform for the company to compete in the fast-growing craft beer segment.

  • 2015

    Constellation Ventures

    The company’s corporate venture capital function, Constellation Ventures, is formed to focus on identifying smaller-scale investment opportunities related to innovative concepts and emerging categories within beverage alcohol.

  • 2016

    Honoring a Legacy

    To honor Constellation Brands founder Marvin Sands’ legacy, the Marvin Sands Heritage Award is established. The award is given annually to people across the company who live Marvin’s founding principles and Constellation’s values.

  • 2016

    Enhancing Our Fine Wine Portfolio and Investing in Craft Spirits

    Constellation acquires The Prisoner Wine Company's portfolio of brands led by The Prisoner, further strengthening the company’s position at the high-end of the wine category. The company purchases the Charles Smith collection of wines, solidifying its position as the second leading supplier of Washington State wines. Constellation also expands its portfolio into the booming craft spirits category with the purchase of Utah-based High West Distillery.

  • 2016

    Selling the Canadian Wine Business

    To further evolve its wine and spirits portfolio, focus on high margin, high growth brands, and increase shareholder value, Constellation sold its Canadian wine business to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

  • 2016

    Expanding Brewery Capacity

    To support the high demand for its iconic Mexican beers, and provide greater flexibility to support its growth and innovation plans, Constellation purchased a brewery in Obregon, Mexico from Grupo Modelo, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, for $600 million. The brewery is located on Mexico’s west coast, and helps to service Constellation’s largest beer markets in the western U.S.

  • 2017

    Elevating the Portfolio

    Schrader Cellars entrusts Constellation with its highly-coveted, critically-acclaimed wine portfolio. The Schrader Cabernet Sauvignon portfolio, sourced from the premier vineyards of Napa Valley, including the famed Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, is the highest-rated American Cabernet Sauvignon portfolio with a total of 24 100-point ratings.

  • 2017

    Constellation Gets Funky

    Craft brewer Funky Buddha joins Constellation Brands, further expanding the company’s high-end beer portfolio.

  • 2017

    Investing in Emerging Markets

    Staying ahead of consumer trends and to exchange knowledge and expertise, Constellation signs an agreement to acquire a minority stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, a well-respected public company in Canada and leading provider of medicinal cannabis products.

  • 2018

    Focusing on Leadership Development

    Bill Newlands is promoted to Constellation’s president and chief operating officer (COO). Rob Sands, who previously held the title of president and chief executive officer (CEO), continues to serve as the company’s CEO.

  • 2018

    Texas Brewer Four Corners Brewing Co. Joins Constellation Brands

    Constellation continues to advance its strategy to lead the high-end in the U.S. beer market with the purchase of Four Corners Brewing Co. – a dynamic, bicultural brand out of Dallas, Texas.

  • 2018

    Leadership Team Adds Newly Created Chief Marketing Officer Role, Promotes Jim Sabia

    Jim Sabia is promoted to the newly created role of executive vice president and chief marketing officer, and joins the company’s Executive Management Committee.

  • 2018

    New Chapter of Growth

    Constellation Brands increases its investment and ownership stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, a leading diversified cannabis company. The ~$4 billion USD [$5 billion CAD] investment expands the two companies’ strategic partnership and positions Canopy Growth as the global leader in cannabis production, branding, intellectual property and retailing.

  • Leading Our Next Chapter

    Bill Newlands succeeds Rob Sands as Constellation’s president and CEO. Rob assumes the role of executive chair.