Aug 022010
 

Get Back on the CapRock Winery Roller Coaster: New Bids Due, Judge Hearing Set

Since early last week, things have been quiet on the Texas high plains wine front following the news that Gruet Winery (www.gruetwinery.com) defaulted on their auction bid to purchase Lubbock’s CapRock Winery (www.caprockwinery.com). See details of the previous event at:

http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=2037 (You can following the links around/back, it you want to whole story.) As recent summary blog was posted by Jeff Siegel at the Wine Curmudgeon*, at:

http://www.winecurmudgeon.com/my_weblog/2010/08/gruet-texas-and-the-deal-that-fell-through.html

*BTW – Jeff, thanks for the attaboys to Ben and me for our journalistic skills. As I emailed you this morning: The Internet is the Pamplona of big, wild rumors. It’s so much easier to run with rumors than to chase down the facts. But, as some have recently found, they might also run you down, stomp on your head or bite you on the ass on a thoroughfare near you at the intersection of Twitter Avenue, Facebook Road and YouTube Drive.” We are both glad to have had your advise along the way.

In the aftermath, there has been the kind of silence that I can only imagine occurs after a very large explosion and after all the pieces of shattered things fall back to Earth and the dust settles. All living things, if any remain, just stand there in shock. In this case, what exploded were the hopes for a new, better funded and more market savvy CapRock Winery.

But, today is a new day…..

Perhaps, a better analogy for the situation that happened with the CapRock auction sale is that it’s been like riding a roller coaster. A really, really big and scary one that has the biggest and fastest turns, most intense drops but, we had hoped, a wonderful exhilarating finish. Well, its time for the finish, the second time. The first time, the wheels came off the coaster shortly after Laurent Gruet of Gruet Winery in New Mexico placed the winning bid for Lubbock’s CapRock Winery in a live auction. It dumped everyone in the Texas wine industry face down on the ground looking still around to figure out what in the hell happened.

The live auction was very fast paced and exciting, but two weeks after its completion, Gruet ended up in default. So, now we are about to get back on the CapRock roller coaster. Someone should post a sign, “Ride This Thing at Your Own Risk”.

I have tried to talked to and emailed with many in the Texas wine industry since the Gruet deal for CapRock went bad. The silence, however, is deafening. After being lifted so high by the Gruet bid with anticipation of CapRock becoming large and financially sound producer of quality Texas wine in the marketplace, bearing the Gruet name, and gaining better national visibility, credibility and (most importantly) distribution, people were left just shaking there heads in disbelief. Nobody wanted to even speculate what would or could happen next or why they were subjected to this travesty.

As attorney, Max Tarbox described in Ben Simon’s video from Vinotology (www.vinotology.com) in last weeks blog (http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=2037), the CapRock Winery auction will be repeated, but this time with only little more than a week’s turnaround and using an alternative, sealed bid format.

I talked to Tarbox this morning. He said that the new bidding will close tomorrow (August 3, 2010) at midnight. The following day (August 4, 2010), he and the representatives of the Williams auction house will open and review the bids. Tarbox will then prepare an auction report for presentation at a hearing in Judge Robert Jones’ Lubbock court room to be held at 2:30 pm the same day. Perhaps, this hearing will give a new meaning to the words “Wine Judging” in the great state of Texas.

Well fans, the roller coaster  is about to leave the boarding area. Hop on board for another ride…if you dare!

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