August 15, 2012
By: John Clark
The Alma Rose Winery, a winery in Santa Barbara, California, owned by a major player in the California wine industry, is filing for bankruptcy protection, according to a report from The Santa Barbara Independent.
Sources indicate that Richard Sanford, the owner of the winery and a pioneer of the Pinot Noir style, is taking his prize winery into bankruptcy court in order to restructure its mounting debts.
Sanford reportedly filed for bankruptcy in order to prevent Silicon Valley Bank, the company’s largest creditor, from foreclosing on both Sanford’s home ranch and the winery’s entire inventory.
By filing for bankruptcy, Sanford prevented the foreclosure, at least in the short term, and he may be able to recoup some of his lost money because his winery will be able to continue its operations during its bankruptcy case.
According to Sanford, in an interview with industry magazine Wine Spectator, his "advisors said that this was an important step to protect the equities that we have while we work out some of the details."
In other words, by heading to bankruptcy court, Sanford and his winery will be able to protect their valuable assets while having some breathing room to solve their financial crisis.
Sources say that this is not the first hint of financial troubles for the 72-year-old wine expert, who had to sell his first venture, Sanford Winery, after he accumulated millions of dollars in debt while trying to build the "winemaking facility of his dreams."
Before the failure of this winery, though, Sanford introduced Pinto grapes to the fertile hills of central California. This innovation led to Sanford’s recent induction into the California Wine Hall of Fame.
After the collapse of Sanford Winery, the entrepreneur built Alma Rose Winery, which received praise from local farmers for its organic and sustainable methods, but the new venture also failed to turn a profit.
According to court documents, the winery has between $1 million and $10 million in both assets and liabilities, and owes money to a relatively small group of 10 creditors.
Sanford reportedly believes that focusing on selling wines directly to consumers, not to wholesalers, is the key to recovering the winery’s financial health. In his words, "the tasting room and our wine club" are the keys to his future success.
PAID ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT: THIS WEB SITE IS A GROUP ADVERTISEMENT AND THE PARTICIPATING ATTORNEYS ARE INCLUDED BECAUSE THEY PAY AN ADVERTISING FEE. It is not a lawyer referral service or prepaid legal services plan. Total Bankruptcy is not a law firm. Your request for contact will be forwarded to the local lawyer who has paid to advertise in the ZIP code you provide. Total Bankruptcy does not endorse or recommend any lawyer or law firm who participates in the network nor does it analyze a person's legal situation when determining which participating lawyers receive a person's inquiry. It does not make any representation and has not made any judgment as to the qualifications, expertise or credentials of any participating lawyer. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. The information contained herein is not legal advice. Any information you submit to Total Bankruptcy does not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be protected by attorney-client privilege. Do not use the form to submit confidential, time-sensitive, or privileged information. All photos are of models and do not depict clients. All case evaluations are performed by participating attorneys. To see the attorney in your area who is responsible for this advertisement, please click here, or call 866-200-8052.
FLORIDA ONLY: Total Bankruptcy is considered a lawyer referral service in the state of Florida under the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct. By all other standards, Total Bankruptcy is a group advertisement and not a lawyer referral service.
If you live in Mississippi, Missouri, New York or Wyoming, please click here for additional information.
By an Act of Congress and the President of the United States, we are a federal Debt Relief Agency. Attorneys and/or law firms promoted through this Web site are also federally designated Debt Relief Agencies. They help people file for relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Disclosures Required Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.