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Prisoner Wine Company

Constellation Brands , Inc. announced Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire The Prisoner Wine Company’s portfolio of brands from Huneeus Vintners for approximately $285 million.

The portfolio includes five fine wine brands led by The Prisoner, a fast-growing super luxury wine, and also includes Saldo, Cuttings, Blindfold and Thorn. The transaction is expected to close by the end of April.

Launched in 2003, The Prisoner was recognized as an innovative and unique Napa Valley red wine blend, leading the resurgence of blends, and today is the No. 1 super luxury red blend, growing 28 percent in retail sales since last year, Constellation said in a news release.

“More than ever, consumers are seeking high-quality, distinctive wines and the portfolio we are acquiring from The Prisoner Wine Company delivers,” said Bill Newlands, president of the Wine and Spirits Division of Constellation Brands, Inc.

“Huneeus Vintners and Constellation have a strong history of respect and success working together,” said Agustin Francisco Huneeus. “Our team – including employees, growers, distributors, and winery partners – have created and built an exceptional portfolio of fine wines and we are very proud of the success they have achieved in a relatively short time frame.”

Huneeus Vintners and Constellation will maintain a winemaking consulting agreement with The Prisoner Wine Company general manager and winemaker Jen Beloz and her production team, to ensure continuity in the unique styles of the wines.

The wines will have further access to premium Napa fruit and winemaking and production will occur at Franciscan Estate winery.

The Prisoner was created and inspired by the drinkable “mixed blacks” first made by the Italian immigrants who originally settled in the Napa Valley. The wine is a blend of zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, petite sirah and charbono.

Constellation is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. Its premium wine brands include Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West and Franciscan Estate.

After years of running global wine companies, father and son, Agustin Huneeus and Agustin Francisco Huneeus, teamed up in 2005 to establish a portfolio of wines that represent the finest vineyard estates, appellations and wines in both North and South America. Their holdings include Quintessa, Flowers, Faust, Illumination and The Prisoner Wine Company.

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