Here's Your Chance to Get in the Wine Biz

    Kirkland Ranch Winery, a large winery southeast of Napa that was involved in the nearly $60 million reorganization of Viansa Italian Marketplace & Winery, is being offered for sale in a sealed-bid auction in early December.

     According to the North Bay Business Journal, Kirkland Knightsbridge LLC wants a minimum bid of $22 million for the 10-year-old, 57,000-square-foot winery. That’s less than half the $50 million value estimated for the property in mid-2007 reorganization court documents for Kirkland Knightsbridge. International Wine Associates of Healdsburg had been soliciting interest in purchasing the property since that time.

     The property includes a use permit to crush 2,500 tons of grapes a year and produce 257,000 nine-liter cases of wine a year. Also allowed under the permit are retail sales and tasting by appointment, as well as up to 74 events per year in the banquet facility.

     The bottling line and winery infrastructure is capable of making a half-million cases annually, according to the auction flyer. The cellar can store up to 3,000 barrels. Also included in the auction are 100 acres of vineyards and 90 to 100 more acres said to be capable of supporting vines.

     International Wine Associates, Braun Auctioneers and The Beverly Group will be taking bids through noon on December 3.

     Kirkland Knightsbridge filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in September 2006 because of $16 million in claims related to a 2004 joint venture with 360 Global Wine Co. The latter acquired Viansa in 2004 and guaranteed half of $20 million in loans to set up a joint production venture with Kirkland.

     In court documents, 360 Global blamed a dispute with Kirkland Knightsbridge over supplying wine for pushing the former into its own Chapter 11. New York-based Laurus Funds, a Viansa creditor, acquired that winery in bankruptcy court late last year.


Posted in The Wine Business
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