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Rumors Swirl of Crushpad Closing

The custom winemaking facility, now based in Sonoma, may be on the verge of closing its doors, according to industry reports

A report in the influential industry website Decanter.com this morning indicated warning "Crushpad Napa warns closure imminent" is unleashing confusion and concern among area winemakers.

Firstly, the Napa Patch editor noted that Crushpad Napa is in Sonoma in a Facebook posting. There does not appear to be a Crushpad in Napa, for at least a year if not longer.

A quick call to the actual in Sonoma, co-located at the on 4th Street East, drew the non-committal response that they were "open." A call from their public relations firm is expected.

Crushpad is a custom-crush outfit that helps customers with the process of winemaking, from grape selection and crushing to blending and bottling. Crushpad was founded in San Francisco in 2004 and maintains winemaking facilities in both Sonoma and Bordeaux.

Lewis Perdue, a wine writer for Wine Industry Insight, wrote "Multiple reliable sources close to the process confirm that the company was desperately seeking $500,000 last week in a last-ditch effort to stay alive after the company’s main investor, Bill Foley, refused to underwrite any more of the operation’s mounting losses."

The Decanter article cited Perdue in reporting, "On 13 June Crushpad CEO Peter Ekman emailed the company’s investors, detailing that its recent attempts to complete new financing were not successful.  ‘Therefore we are now in a position where we lack sufficient funding to continue operations beyond the end of the month,’ the email said."

A follow-up report today from TheDrinksBusiness.com states the following:

The company has called the report “a simplified version of the reality” and denied any mounting losses. They are reported to be working toward paying past debt to particular vendors and reached out to investors for help.

Crushpad also tweeted numerous times that, “Lewis Perdue’s article is neither factual nor accurate. Our doors are open for business as usual. We appreciate your support.”

The fate of the U.S.-based Crushpad might be related to that of their French cousin, Crushpad Bordeaux, which was recently purchased by the owners of Chateau Lynch-Bages, who plan to continue the consumer winemaking operation in the village of Bages, near Pauillac.

According to the April 12, 2012 announcement on the Crushpadwine.fr website, "Crushpad clients will have the option to tap the full complement of Lynch-Bages’ tourism and lifestyle services. These include the Cordeillan Bages 'Relais et Chateaux' luxury hotel, two-star Michelin® restaurant, Ormes de Pez guesthouse, Café Lavinal, Cercle Lynch-Bages wine school, and other wine-related offerings."

The two companies, U.S. and France, apparently no longer have any financial linkage, according to the Decanter article.

Lee July 29, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Rumors no more: Liquidation Event next week. http://wineindustryinsight.com/?p=45293
Jefe August 01, 2012 at 01:48 AM
The management of this company took customer payments for barrels of wine. They spent the money on who knows what (Salaries and bonuses?), borrowed even more money to line their own pockets. Then they declare bankruptcy and leave the customers with nothing. The customers should get the wine they already paid for. Customers were never told this was speculation. This is wrong! Criminal in my mind. Thieves...

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