Apr 042012

Round 3: Judges Orders Gruet to Pay $4 Million for Botched CapRock Winery Sale

For those of you that don’t know what this is all about, it all started in mid-2010 with an aborted bankruptcy auction for the CapRock Winery in Lubbock, Texas. Laurent Gruet, owner of Albuquerque’s Winery and noted Champagne maker, Chateau Gruet, gave the high bid of $6.5 million for CapRock, but failed to consummate the sale (Round 1).

Later that year, in a repeat of the auction without Gruet, CapRock Winery was purchased by Cathy Bodenstedt of San Antonio for a mere $2.5 Million (Round 2)…approximately $4 million less than Laurent Gruet’s bid.

In 2011, nearly a year after the re-auction and successful sale, a lawsuit was filed on the behalf of the bankruptcy estate to recover the loss in the sales price of the winery.

Today, Judge Robert L. Jones ruled that Gruet, who bid $6.5 million for the then-bankrupt winery in July 2010, breached the contract by not completing the purchase.

According to Ben Simon @Vinotology who covered the original auction story with me, “Wow! That’s the most expensive non-purchase I’ve ever seen. The saga continues.”

Word has it that Laurent Gruet’s family blocked the sale…a case of sibling rivalry or Gruet family intrigue. http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=4933

For more details, go to:


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