As previously reported by Wine Industry Insight (see May 2 article, below), Ascentia Wine Estates will no longer be in the wine business as of May 31 when sales of most of its properties are supposed to close.
CEO Jim DeBonis — after denying for months that any part of the company was for sale — told employees today that this was their last day. He also told them that they should all come back to the offices on Monday to see if they had a job with any of the purchasers of the winery properties.
More here as it becomes available.
UPDATE, 12:46 P.M.
Variations of this email to Columbia and Covey Run employees have been sent by CEO Jim DeBonis to workers at all Ascentia’s properties:
I wanted to update you on the progress related to Gallo’s acquisition of the Columbia and Covey Run brands. The transaction is expected to close on or around June 1. In preparation for the closing, members of the Gallo Executive Team will be visiting Woodinville and Sunnyside this week to hold informational meetings at both locations to introduce themselves and tell you more about Gallo – please see schedule below.
What this means for you is that you will no longer be an Ascentia employee as of the closing date. Julie will be scheduling meetings on June 1 to go through your exit packets with you. If you are unable to meet with Julie in person, she will mail your packets to your home address.
In addition, Gallo will be setting up interviews this week, so an interview schedule will be coming out soon. They want to talk to as many people as they can while they are here, but will have limited time and may not be able to meet with everyone.
On behalf of Ascentia, I am extremely grateful for the contributions you have made to our company, and we wish you well in all of your future endeavors.
PREVIOUS WINE INDUSTRY INSIGHT COVERAGE OF ASCENTIA