Richard Sands, chairman of the board of directors of Constellation Brands Inc., received the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition at its annual dinner on May 28.
The competition, in its 69th year, is one of the top five wine competitions in the world, and annually presents a leading industry visionary with its highest honor.
“Richard Sands is a leading figure in the wine industry today, and his legendary business prowess focuses on motivating and inspiring people to continuously strive for excellence as they work to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives, which include providing unmatched quality and value to customers and consumers around the world,” said Dr. Robert Small, chairman of the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition.
Sands joined Constellation in 1979, was named president and chief operating officer in 1986, became chief executive officer in 1993 and chairman of the board in 1999. He passed the CEO baton to his younger brother, Robert Sands, in July 2007, and remains chairman.
Constellation Brands, based in the Rochester, N.Y., area, is a leading producer and marketer of beverage alcohol across the wine, imported beer and spirits categories. The company is the world’s largest wine producer, and its portfolio includes more than 250 brands and sales in nearly 150 countries.
The company also holds the distinction of being the world’s leading premium wine producer with top wines from some of the finest New World wineries, winemakers and terroirs in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Additionally, Constellation has partnerships, agreements or brand ownership for Old World wines imported to the U.S. from France, Italy and Spain.
In North America, the company is the leading wine producer and marketer in the super-premium through luxury categories, with domestic and international labels that include Robert Mondavi Winery, Simi, Wild Horse, Estancia, Franciscan Oakville Estate, Mount Veeder, Kim Crawford, Jackson-Triggs, Inniskillin, Clos du Bois, Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Ravenswood, Blackstone, Tintara, Barossa Valley Estate and many others.