EXCLUSIVE: The Inside Story Of Joe Wagner’s $315 Million Sale Of Meiomi

Constellation buys the California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay label for a hefty price
EXCLUSIVE: The Inside Story Of Joe Wagner’s $315 Million Sale Of Meiomi
Joe Wagner, son of Caymus' Chuck Wagner, is parting with his fast-growing label so he can buy more vineyards and expand other wine brands. (Frank Gutierrez)
Jul 1, 2015

Aiming to become an even bigger player in the California wine business, Joe Wagner has agreed to sell his Meiomi brand to Constellation Brands for $315 million. The 33-year-old Wagner told Shanken News Daily that he’s selling Meiomi—one of the U.S. wine market’s hottest brands—because the deal will give him the liquidity necessary to become a much larger landowner. Wagner says he hopes to amass 2,000-3,000 acres of California vineyards over the next five years.

Constellation is paying a hefty price for Meiomi. Wagner told SND, a sister publication of Wine Spectator, that the deal price was roughly a 24 times multiple against the brand’s present and future earnings.

In striking the deal, Constellation adds a brand whose recent performance has been nothing short of astonishing. Wagner developed Meiomi in 2006 while he was a winemaker at Caymus, which is headed by his father, Chuck, and the wine was released in 2009. In 2010, the brand sold 90,000 cases. Last year, the California wine brand won Impact “Hot Brand” honors after advancing by 41 percent to 550,000 cases and was named Wine Brand Of The Year by Impact sister publication Market Watch magazine. Wagner told SND that Meiomi, which retails for around $25 a 750-ml., is on pace to sell more than 700,000 cases in 2015.

The transaction includes no vineyards. Constellation will begin making Meiomi at several of its production facilities around California, according to Wagner. Wagner has agreed to act as a consulting winemaker for Constellation for a two-year period.

Wagner and Constellation were in talks for about a year. According to Wagner, Constellation initially insisted on a restrictive non-compete clause. But by the time the two parties agreed to the deal, that clause had been lifted, giving Wagner the option to develop a new Pinot Noir at a price point similar to Meiomi’s.

While Meiomi is best known for its Pinot Noir, Wagner introduced a Chardonnay in 2014. Last year he also formed Copper Cane Wine & Provisions to handle Meiomi and several other wine brands. The establishment of Copper Cane represented a break from Wagner Family of Wines, led by Joe’s father, Chuck Wagner.

“Meiomi’s numbers alone equal the entire production of Wagner Family of Wine,” Chuck Wagner recently told SND, adding “The entire family loves what Joey’s doing. He’s created his own style of Pinot Noir that has scored well with critics, and I’m proud of him for it.”

The Meiomi purchase, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in early August.

Winery Purchases and Sales Red Wines United States California Pinot Noir News

You Might Also Like

Your Favorite Old World Wine Is About to Get Much More Expensive

Your Favorite Old World Wine Is About to Get Much More Expensive

The U.S. is imposing 25% tariffs on many French, Spanish and German wines. What will it …

Oct 18, 2019
2019 Grand Tastings: Sharing the Joy of Wine

2019 Grand Tastings: Sharing the Joy of Wine

Wine Spectator kicks off its 39th annual tasting weekend with a sold-out showcase of 273 …

Oct 18, 2019
Spain's Alma Carraovejas Buys 2 Ribeiro Wineries: Emilio Rojo and Viña Meín

Spain's Alma Carraovejas Buys 2 Ribeiro Wineries: Emilio Rojo and Viña Meín

The Ribera del Duero based wine company hopes to untap the potential of Galicia's wines

Oct 16, 2019
Moderate Wine Consumption and Type 2 Diabetes

Moderate Wine Consumption and Type 2 Diabetes

A meta analysis of research found wine may help diabetes sufferers by lowering blood …

Oct 15, 2019
Chanel Group Expands Its Wine Ambitions to Provence

Chanel Group Expands Its Wine Ambitions to Provence

The luxury company, which owns wineries in Bordeaux and Napa, buys Domaine de I'lle in …

Oct 14, 2019
Exclusive: Jackson Family Wines Buys Balo Vineyards in Anderson Valley

Exclusive: Jackson Family Wines Buys Balo Vineyards in Anderson Valley

The 14-acre property in California's Mendocino County is known for its Pinot Noir and …

Oct 14, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search