Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
04.05.2010  
 

Hazlitt Family to Acquire Widmer's Winery

Red Cat/White Cat producer to take over historic winery as Constellation unloads it

 
by Linda Jones McKee
 
 
Widmer’s Wine Cellars
 
The Hazlitt family is poised to gain ownership of Widmer’s Wine Cellars.
Naples, N.Y. -- It’s a historically appropriate transition: The Hazlitt family has grown grapes on Seneca Lake’s eastern shore for more than 150 years; Widmer’s Wine Cellars, founded in 1882, is one of the oldest wineries in the Finger Lakes. If all goes according to plan, come June, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Hector, N.Y., will own the historic Widmer winery.

On March 31, Constellation Brands Inc. and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) announced that Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards had entered into an agreement to buy Widmer’s Wine Cellars in Naples, N.Y. Constellation had announced in September that the company intended to close the Widmer facility and donate the property to RIT for use with the school’s technology, sustainability and hospitality programs.

Over the years, Widmer’s had grown to be Naples’ biggest business. Its closing meant the loss of jobs and a major negative impact on the town’s tax base. Consequently, the announcement made Wednesday was a happy one in Naples, bringing the prospect of jobs at Widmer’s and continued tax revenue for the township’s budget.

In the months since the original announcement that it would close Widmer’s, Constellation worked with the university, the Ontario County Office of Economic Development (OCOED) and the Ontario County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) to find an appropriate use for the property, including the possibility of keeping Widmer’s as a functioning winery. Now that an agreement has been signed with Hazlitt’s, that possibility may become a reality.

The two Ontario County agencies, OCOED and OCIDA, will work with Hazlitt to obtain the financing needed for the project to move forward. The purchase, subject to customary due diligence and closing conditions, is expected to close in June, and Hazlitt will assume management of the facility by the end of the year.

Hazlitt Red Cat
 
Hazlitt's best-known brand, Red Cat, sponsors the Red Cat Summer Stage at Watkins Glenn International racetrack.
Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, owned by Doug Hazlitt and Leigh Hazlitt Triner, produces a number of brands including Red Cat, White Cat, Cabin Fever and Bramble Berry. According to Doug Hazlitt, the Widmer property includes the winery buildings, numerous barns and a total of 499 acres, including approximately 165 acres of grapes. He noted that, “We’ll probably keep about half of the vineyard acreage, and half will be torn out or replanted with other varieties.”  The winery facility will become home to the popular and fast-growing Red Cat and White Cat brands.

“I’m excited that this is happening,” Hazlitt told Wines & Vines. “I used to ride on the grape truck with my dad when he was delivering grapes to Widmer’s. My grandfather did the same thing, and so did my great-grandfather.”

How RIT will fit into the Widmer-Hazlitt project is not yet clear. Hazlitt commented, “The university is pleased that we’re buying the Widmer property, but there is no set deal. The only agreement is to get together and formulate a plan. I think we can find a way to use their sustainability and technology programs, and when we open a retail space, we might be able to bring in students from their hospitality and service management programs.”

Constellation plans to spend approximately $7.2 million to expand its Canandaigua, N.Y., facility so that the company can produce the brands currently made at Widmer’s, including Manischewitz, Paul Masson, Taylor and Widmer’s. The company also announced its intention to make a significant donation to RIT to further the university’s commitment to the community, education and the New York wine industry.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 $708 million
5%
$7,844 million
6%
November 2013 $673 million $7,428 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 $274 million
21%
$1,799 million
16%
November 2013 $225 million $1,558 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 127
-5%
226
15%
November 2013 134 196
     
 
MORE » Released on 12.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

FEATURES
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • January 7
     
    Putting Your Brand to Work
     
  • January 13-16
     
    VinCO
     
  • January 15
     
    WineFlavor 101B
     
  • January 15
     
    Sonoma Winegrowers Dollars & Sense
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Grape Industry Lukewarm on Immigration Act »
 
A band-aid it may be but instead of the negative tone of this article which...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Oregon Wine Institute Plans for the Future »
 
When Mark is involved, things are going to work out just great! We miss the...
Reader: Peter Bell
 
Article: Spanish Cooper Sells Chinese Oak »
 
I would love to find Us wineries using the Chinese oak barrels. Do you know...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Prohibition Laws Linger 81 Years Later »
 
Trader Joe's (Union Square) and Whole Foods (Upper West Side) both have wine shops attached...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Prohibition Laws Linger 81 Years Later »
 
Maybe the economy could use another boost by repealing the post-prohibitionary laws too. Make it...
Reader: csm noble
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Bottling Line Quality ...
 Geyserville, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Peninsula/San Francisc...
 Peninsula/Sf, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Monterey/Carmel
 Monterey/Carmel, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Fine Wine Consultant
 East Tampa, Lakeland, FL
Sales and Marketing
 Financial Analyst
 Oakville, CA
Finance
 Regional Sales Directo...
 Usa, NA
Sales and Marketing
 Accounts Payable
 New York, NY
Finance
 Vice President Lean Tr...
 Manteca, CA
General Administration and
 Controller
 Seattle, WA
Finance
 Sales Consultant - Sou...
 Novi, MI
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.