Storm the Castlegate, Hands off our wine!

August 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm

As you maybe aware if you pay attention to the daily Soap Opera that is “CrushPad”, Sonoma. They are now being forced to liquidate their assets do to their lack of cash flow and years of poor miss-management. From the start I questioned how they could get away with operating this co-op type winery so loosely, but many fans and users sang their praises. Now there is but wringing of hands as 3 CEO’s, Michael Brill, Peter Ekman and Steve Ryan have steered this “Titanic Wine Fail” on to the last Wineburg..
Only the “forceful few” were able to get their barrels out after showing up at Sebastiani Winery and demanding they remove their wine that has been long paid for. Sarah Francis and Cynthia Cosco made the move early enough but others were not so fortunate. If you had wine already bottled like Ed Thralls, it lays over at Gros-kopf Warehouse and Logistics in Sonoma and not possible to get at. Many of us in the Napa/Sonoma wine industry probably know someone that has wine here or in the past and should show our support by showing up at the Auction Gavel tomorrow with pitch forks demanding that at least no wine barrels or pallets of wine be sold to Big or small companies hoping to profit at their blood sweat and tears.
Buy the equipment, empty barrels and such, but let the consumers wine stay.
What I call for is a moratorium where clients in the process of making wine can prove their case of full ownership to an arbiter who would allow them to maintain, under supervision or like posting bail, at least be able to complete the winemaking process and then if there is monies due, that can be worked out through negotiation and sale of wine by the clients. Given that many of the 500 clients that have barrels within the facility and no other company could seriously resell product that is not finished and without all the necessary documents to show its origin it makes the best sense.

Breaking news while writing this post: Per, Sarah Francis on a Facebook post she reveals that the sale will be conducted at the offices of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP, 2 Embarcadero Center, Suite 5, San Francisco. For more information contact Adam Echter at (214) 471-5557 Castlegate Partners is the current highest bidder.
Quoting Sarah “JP Morgan Chase executive, GAP executive, Brill, Ekman, and another person took in money from clients and then didn’t pay the bills, I am sure they paid themselves though. Now winemakers wines will go to satisfy their debts that they didn’t pay.”

Of course it’s very convenient to hold this, Probably closed door, auction in San Francisco when most of the clients live in Sonoma & Napa. Everybody who is able should try and contact Adam Echter and get the word out there that this will not Stand.

This is my “Why’n Perspective” – What say you Revolutionaries…

These Comments were made on Facebook after posting my blog yesterday
Rich Reader Occupy?
13 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Dan Goderis So sad Mark. If my wine was there someone would be hanging from the short hairs. I hope folks like the Ed’s get their wines and move forward.
12 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 1

Sarah Francis ‎1802. (a) In any general assignment for the benefit of creditors, as defined in Section 493.010, the assignee shall, within 30 days after the assignment has been accepted in writing, give written notice of the assignment to the assignor’s creditors, equityholders, and other parties in interest as set forth on the list provided by the assignor pursuant to subdivision (c).

(b) In the notice given pursuant to subdivision (a), the assignee shall establish a date by which creditors must file their claims to be able to share in the distribution of proceeds of the liquidation of the assignor’s assets. That date shall be not less than 150 days and not greater than 180 days after the date of the first giving of the written notice to creditors and parties in interest.

(c) The assignor shall provide to the assignee at the time of the making of the assignment a list of creditors, equityholders, and other parties in interest, signed under penalty of perjury, which shall include the names, addresses, cities, states, and ZIP Codes for each person together with the amount of that person’s anticipated claim in the assignment proceedings.

In California, the company and the assignee enter into a formal “Assignment Agreement.” The company must also provide the assignee with a list of creditors, equityholders, and other interested parties (names, addresses, and claim amounts). The assignee is required to give notice to creditors of the assignment, setting a bar date for filing claims with the assignee that is between five to six months later. In other words, if you were noted as a “creditor” you should have received a letter from Sherwood and a claim form no later than 30 days of them receiving the assignment(therefore-by now). The debts are satisfied according to a)secured, then b)tax and wages, and then unsecured. Also, find a lawyer that understands ABC/contract law. Here is an example of a claim form.
11 hours ago · Like

Sarah Francis ‎Ed Thralls Jr did you receive a letter from Sherwood and a claim form?
11 hours ago · Like

Ed Thralls Jr I have not received any communication from Crushpad in any form
11 hours ago · Like

Sarah Francis it will not come from cp. cp is insolvant. they assigned themselves to sherwood partners by vote of the board of directors and stockholders. The assignment of benefits law in california says they must inform creditors in writing (cp was suppose to furnish them a list of creditors) within 30 days of assignment (which is now). They must provide the notice and a claim form. The auction will be tomorrow at 10 am in SF. Any money will be distributed by SHerwood in the following order :a) secured debt b) taxes c) wages d) unsecured creditors. They avoid bankruptcy this way. I spoke with an attorney last week and today. He was referred to me by a friend. He said several have come to him claiming they are owed 80k and upward. He suggested a group filing to save attorneys fees. Unfortunately, it really require an attorney that understands contract and bankruptcy law/ca ABC law. FYI
11 hours ago · Like

Mark Buckley I know a winery that is owed $40K+ for grapes
about an hour ago · Like

Sarah Francis Better attach as a creditor at 10:30 today
about an hour ago via mobile · Like

Mark Buckley This is the same way New Vine went down. Unfortunately they had mostly cased goods and Crushpad has wines in Barrel that need to be maintained. Somebody should be in court and request an arbiter to handle individual requests for access with a contracted winemaker.
about an hour ago · Like

Mark Buckley I will inform our President, but unless we got a letter I’m doubting we will have any lawyer representing. Appreciate the info though. Will pass it on.
about an hour ago · Like

Ed Thralls Jr Finally confirmed my wine is safe as I suspected (and hoped). Once wine is finished and in bottle it’s our property so they can’t legally “take” it. I just have to pay remaining fees if I want it out of Groskopf, which I had tried to do a couple weeks ago. Finally have a real contact to get my hands on it. Thanks Sarah for the Sherwood contacts and the help with all the info
42 minutes ago via mobile · Unlike · 3

Mark Buckley So glad to hear Ed!
29 minutes ago · Like

AK Martin It’s New Vine all over again!!
9 minutes ago · Like

Sarah Francis What is new vine
2 minutes ago via mobile · Like

AK Martin New Vine Logistics(direct to consumer wine shipping) was a company that managed to fall just like crush pad..
1 minutes ago · Like

After an hour break, these further comments were added to the facebook Post:

Tristan Fairbanks Ugh, that nightmare was one I remember vividly!! That is why Mark knows so much about it now. Crushpad is eerily similar.
about an hour ago · Like

Tristan Fairbanks For historical purposes this is the cliff notes version of what took place 3 years ago with NVL The fall out was lengthy.
about an hour ago · Like

Mark Buckley It sounds like the Board of Crushpad made a deal with devil to get them out of Dodge and not have any accountability? I think these irregularities should be looked at and not 2 years down the road. The CEO’s of CP Need to own up to their lack of fore thought and Steve Ryan has been stalling for time to get a backroom deal going with Castlegate Partner’s.
about an hour ago · Like

Katie Cavanagh · 135 mutual friends
Does anyone know the results of the auction today? This is terrible. Glad to hear that you were able to avoid this Cynthia. I feel sad for those that were not able to and were paid up. Unbelievable.
24 minutes ago · Like

Mark Buckley If you know anything Sarah Francis please chime in

Mark Buckley Update reported by Lewis Perdue from Press Democrat – Two new companies win Crushpad assets for $654,866

Based in Napa since 2005. January 2013 I started a Digital Marketing/Social Engagement company "D' Vine Social Media" for the wine & food industry. Formerly I worked for Hahn Family Wines in Social Media & Marketing for 2 years. I am a graduate from Napa Valley College Wine Program with a degree in Enology winemaking 2010. I'm a partner in a boutique wine venture, Lady Godiva Wine. First wine coming this late spring 2013. I am also a Level 1 Sommelier and consultant for food and wine and hospitality I Spent many years in Printing and Graphics and the last 15 in producing wine labels for many of the top wine producers in California. Somehow I find time to blog about food, wine and spirits and my experiences along the way. Be sure to follow me on twitter @spiritandwine

5 Responses to “Storm the Castlegate, Hands off our wine!”

  1. Steve case says:

    Bad journalism, badly written, and sad situation for all Crushpad customers.

    • spiritandwine says:

      Is it bad to report what is the truth Steve? Customers are getting the short end of the stick and nobody gets to be accountable? Just getting the info out there to enable their customers to take action.

  2. Having survived the fall out of New Vine’s collapse, I can only feel pain for everyone affected by the Crushpad nightmare. Poor business management and lack of follow through with proper money handling is no excuse for immoral and unethical not to mention illegal behavior. I despise this on so many levels.

    • spiritandwine says:

      Couldn’t agree more. There’s no leadership or accountability in Washington and businesses take their lead from that. They take customers money and then when they realize they spent to much on executive salaries decide, oops I don’t want to take a hit, I will take my shares and bail and leave people holding their bag.

  3. […] and hundreds throughout Sonoma and Napa counties. Read more on Marinscope Community Newspapers Enjoy the Marin County wine-tasting experience … quite cut it, as there are tasting rooms in Poin…llow" […]

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