Constellation Brands acquires DTC brand Empathy Wines

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Constellation wants to apply Empathy's digital know-how across its portfolio. Pic:getty/ekaterinabudinovskaya
Constellation wants to apply Empathy's digital know-how across its portfolio. Pic:getty/ekaterinabudinovskaya

Related tags Wine Constellation brands digital

Constellation Brands will purchase Empathy Wines, a ‘high-performing, digitally-native wine brand and direct-to-consumer (DTC) platform’ founded in 2019.

Empathy Wines was co-founded by entrepreneur and media personality Gary Vaynerchuk alongside business partners Jon Troutman and Nate Scherotter. The company focuses on producing quality, sustainably made wines, sold direct-to-consumer through its eCommerce platform, based on consumer insights and content-driven digital marketing.

Constellation will work with Empathy Wines to further scale the brand’s growth. Meanwhile, Constellation wants to leverage Empathy’s digital technology to build DTC and digital capabilities can be scaled across its wider wine and spirits portfolio.

Constellation: 'We want to build the strongest DTC and digital commerce business in the category'

Bill Newlands, president and chief executive officer, Constellation Brands, says the company is focused on building a direct relationship with consumers and meeting them where they are shopping and engaging today and in the future.

“We believe Empathy Wines has the right team and approach to help us deliver exceptional brands and experiences to our consumers, and thereby industry-leading growth, by expediting our ability to more deeply connect with consumers and build the strongest direct-to-consumer and digital commerce business in the category,”​ he said.

Vaynerchuk (founder of VaynerMedia and Creator and Host of Wine Library TV) and former VaynerMedia executives Troutman and Scherotter, set out to create quality wines made of grapes sourced from sustainable growers, and at a $20 per bottle price point that benefits both the consumer and the farmer.

Since its initial product launch in 2019, the brand has sold approximately 15,000 cases and acquired more than 2,000 subscription customers.

“Our ability to understand and ‘empathize’ with the modern-day wine consumer’s behavior, wants, and needs has been proven through Empathy’s incredible growth,”​ said Vaynerchuk. “We are excited to replicate this modern-day, consumer-centric approach at a larger scale.”

Empathy Wines’ employees, including co-founders Troutman and Scherotter, will join Constellation Brands and work with its wine and spirits organization. Vaynerchuk will continue to assist Constellation Brands and Empathy Wines in a consulting capacity.

Constellation’s wind and spirits portfolio includes the Robert Mondavi Brand Family, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, The Prisoner Brand Family, SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila, and High West Whiskey.

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