The Tasting Panel magazine

Oct 09

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Page 42 of 92

anadian-born Jay Wright, Constel- lation Wines U.S.'s newest C-level star, is a newcomer to the company only in the sense that he moved from Toronto, Ontario to live and work in New York State, where he now heads up sales, marketing and channel management for Constellation's U.S. portfolio, reporting to Jose Fernandez, CEO of Con- stellation Wines North America. In 2001, Wright found himself "at the top of the food chain" when, as SVP and GM for Borden Foods USA, he was named President of Vincor, Constellation's Canadian subsidiary. Now, as Chief Commercial Offi cer and Execu- tive Vice President for Constellation Wines U.S., Wright is charting a course for growth and keeping a close eye on the horizon for signs that consumer confi dence is eclips- ing the current pace of economy. Navigating by the Stars Six months into his new role, Wright has navigated Constellation Wines U.S. through the initial stages of a company-wide reorganization designed to streamline the sales and marketing structure and consolidate its wine and spirits business into one operating company. Adopting a move-to-premium strategy—one that focuses on wines in the $5 and above range and mid-premium spirits brands— in 2009 the company acquired Clos du Bois and Wild Horse wineries, while it sold off Almaden and Inglenook, along Constellation's Astrono of Commerce Jay Wright has the future in sight The Constellation line-up includes high-visibility brands from far and near, including Kim Crawford, Ravenswood, Robert Mondavi Private Selection and Clos du Bois. 42 / the tasting panel / october 2009 Cover Story story by Deborah Parker Wong photos by Marten Czamanske

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