Video: CapRock News Conference. Gruet Backs Out; New Auction in Progress; The Truth is Out There!

Video: CapRock Winery News Conference. Gruet Backs Out; New Auction in Process; The Truth is Out There!

Special High Plains Wine Correspondent, Ben Simons from attended the news conference held at CapRock Winery yesterday. He posted the following video of the event that included an explanation by attorney Max Tarbox that Laurent Gruet, co-owner of Gruet Winery ( in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has backed out of the purchase of the CapRock Winery (  in Lubbock, Texas. Tarbox also announced that there will be a new auction by sealed bid to be concluded on August 3, 2010. There will be a judges hearing with Judge Robert Jones on August 4, 2010, to review the auction and bids.

The reaction to these event are still coming into VintageTexas from contacts in the Texas wine industry, and an update will be provided later today when more comments are available. The initial reaction has been one of shock and disappointment, as most felt that the Gruet family would be a welcome addition to the Texas wine scene. Their reputation for quality, sound business direction and wide distribution would have been a valuable addition to efforts to promote Texas wine both within the state and nationally. Attempts have been made to contact Laurent Gruet and representatives from Gruet Winery without success.

The main reason cited for Gruet’s pullback was the inability to come up with the 10% down payment per the purchase agreement for the CapRock Winery. It appears that Laurent Gruet has other more personal and perhaps unrelated issues regarding DWI convictions in new Mexico as were brought up in the news conference.

The Texas wine industry is still in a whirl and are left asking, how could this have happened and where is it now heading.

Afternoon Update: The industry still seems to be in shock. Most people just can’t believe the events that transpired.

I liked Ben Simon’s blog posted this afternoon, “Not All That Sparkles is Gold: A Disappointing Twist to the Gruet Story….”


But, Ben you need to finish the line….”or Champagne (or Gruet Sparkling Wine) Either”.

He mentioned what many in the Texas wine industry simply call, “The Curse” that has resulted in four CapRock Bankruptcies stemming back to the previous Teysha Cellars days at this same site. Regarding the curse….I have spoke to more than one person that feels strongly that it is an old indigenous curse radiating out from the statue of the American Indian above the CapRock Winery entryway.

(see photo at:

I have been told by one person, that if he/she bought the place, the first thing [they] would do is meltdown the Indian statue, carry the block of metal far into the desert and bury it deep under the red sandy loam in the presence of both a Native American Shaman doing a purification chant and a Catholic priest well versed in the rituals of  exorcisms.

Apparently, Laurant Gruet was bidding with funny money. In yesterdays news conference, Max Tarbox said that Gruet may be liable for the difference in price from the first auction and the re-auction. But, that is a hard road to go, with payment still very uncertain.

Regarding the Gruet DWI’s, even TABC representatives told me frankly over the phone yesterday that there were easy way ways around that being a barrier.

The Gruet news DWI stories in NM last week were generated on an anonymous tip to the reporter.


It could have been just a coincidence with the tip made by a concern NM citizen, or someone in the Gruet family/organization designed to put him on a shorter leash due to his errant ways, or someone in Texas that reckons to loose from the sale or who is just against giving up this minuscule piece of Texas wine  sovereignty.

With regard to the above, I think that we have to leave that for the conspiracy theorists and the X-files to go after. Remember: “The Truth is Out There”. I think….

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Hopefully, there will still be a silver lining for CapRock Winery and the Texas wine industry out there, too.

Behind all this, is a good lesson for all bloggers; wine or otherwise:

1. Stick to the story, it takes time to develop.

2. Get the facts; get it from the principals in the action or from related entities that actually know the facts.

3. Don’t be mislead by rumors, particularly if not confirmed to be truths by reliable persons.

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