Constellation Brands acquires California winery Sea Smoke

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Constellation Brands acquires California winery Sea Smoke

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Constellation Brands says the acquisition of the Pinot Noir specialist further enhances its focus on higher-end wines.

Based in Lompoc, California, founder Bob Davids was inspired by Burgundy wines and set up Sea Smoke in 1998 to focus on Pinot Noir in the Santa Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County.

Sea Smoke joins Constellation’s Fine Wine & Craft Spirits portfolio, which includes Schrader Cellars, Lingua Franca, Booker Vineyard, To Kalon Vineyard Company, Mount Veeder Winery, Robert Mondavi Winery, The Prisoner Wine Company, High West Distillery and Casa Noble Tequila, among others. 

“As we continue to pursue growth aligned with consumer-led premiumization trends through our higher-end brands of the Wine and Spirits business, we are excited to add Sea Smoke to our fine wine portfolio,” said Sam Glaetzer, EVP & President, Wine & Spirits division, who took on leadership of the division in March.

“Not only does Sea Smoke offer a uniquely acclaimed estate vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills AVA, but its highly acclaimed wines also align with our target consumer preferences as they continue to shift to the higher end. We look forward to working with the Sea Smoke team to grow this exceptional winery while upholding its impeccable tradition of quality and customer experience.”

While beer makes up the lion’s share of Constellation Brands’ portfolio (around 80%), wine accounts for around 18% of the company’s net sales.

The US wine category is under pressure: with consumers skewing to older generations and the category failing to engage younger consumers against a variety of newer, trendier drinks. Constellation’s Wine & Spirits division saw net sales decline 9% in 2024.

But the acquisition of Sea Smoke is part of the company’s strategy to shift towards premium, luxury and craft brands​: following acquisitions of brands such as  La Fête du Rosé​​ (2021), luxury wine Lingua Franca (2022) and Napa Valley luxury wine brand Domaine Curry ​​(2023).

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