Two Sonomo wineries close

Gallo's Clos du Bois and Sebastiani lay off a total of 70 employees.

 Gallo separates from numerous employees
Gallo separates from numerous employees

The mega-deal was only sealed in January: Gallo bought around 30 wine brands from the lower price segment from Constellation Brands, as the latter wants to focus more on their premium portfolio. Now the first consequences for the affected producers are becoming clear: At the Clos du Bois winery in Geyserville in Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, almost the entire workforce has been laid off with immediate effect, 40 employees, as US media report. This was confirmed by Gallo, aacording to the reports.

According to employees, massive turnover losses led to the action. The turnover of Clos du Bois decreased from $4.5 million to $1.8 million, which is presumably due to a decreased interest of Constellation in the brand, they say. A Gallo manager, on the other hand, is said to have referred to "changing market dynamics over the past two years." Constellation acquired the wine estate in 2007.

With luck, some employees will be able to be redirected to other areas of the Gallo group. "We are transitioning the bulk of our production from the Clos du Bois winery to our other wineries in Sonoma County," a spokesperson said. "We will maintain some operations at Clos du Bois moving forward, but the current staffing levels are not needed for future production." Gallo is also said to have offered assistance in finding outside employment, and severance pay would also be paid.

The traditional Sebastiani winery also must close its doors for good. According to media reports, the Foley Family, to which the winery has belonged since 2008, wants to move its production elsewhere. 

It is said that the relocation is related to the acquisition of the larger and more modern Ferrari-Carano winery, where the Sebastiani wines will probably be produced in the future. The inner city location in a residential area is extremely problematic for logistics, and "environmental concerns" also played a role. What kind is not known. The tasting room and the administrative offices of Sebastiani in Sonoma are to remain open. 

30 employees will lose their jobs as a result of this closure. Sebastiani was founded in 1904 and had been producing wine continuously since then, at last about 160,000 cases a year. aw

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