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Crushpad’s Dire Email To Investors Sheds More Light On Implosion

“If we do not receive sufficient interest [in financing], we will be forced to initiate a wind-down process in the very short term.” — Peter Ekman email excerpt


The following email (below) has been received by Wine Industry Insight and pertains to yesterday’s article.

CEO Peter Ekman did not respond to our request for comment.

The email sender explained that, “As a previous investor, the motivation in forwarding this is to protect current clients and employees who have been lied to and have wine in barrel from throwing more money away.”

From: Investor Relations <>
Date: June 13, 2012 4:45:41 PM PDT
To: Investor Relations <>
Subject: Crushpad Series A Unfortunately Unsuccessful

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5 Responses to Crushpad’s Dire Email To Investors Sheds More Light On Implosion

  1. The exodus is in full swing. Crushpad-linked wineries are calling here, looking for new winery association, and we are offering an easy exit path.We have only heard from a few small- lot winemakers so far but would love to start writing checks for orphan juice. I think that, as written about yesterday in WII, there are a ton of folks who are just sick of the bills.

  2. Todd Stanley

    I really don’t understand the hostility here, such an aggressive headline. It seems only logical, they would want people to stop talking about your article as I’m sure it has only damaged their efforts. Not to mention that stories such as this do nothing for helping the clients that have wine in process with them. It all seems a bit like picking on the outsider on a playground to me, but I understand it’s what entices people to subscribe to your blog.

    Anyhow, I made wine at Crushpad in 2010 with a group of people. It was a terrific experience. Our group had an awful experience with the man in the sales department to start it off, Dave something or other. A real egotist, who from what I gather left Crushpad to start his own operation and must have stolen the database because we never inquired about their services, but he definitely tried to get us to come on board at his facility. Moreover, the staff that we worked with over the last few months to get our wine bottled up, blended and what not could not have been more helpful and professional. Steve at Crushpad is probably the best thing that could have happened to our group – so if you read these blogs, Steve – we’re pulling for you guys.

    I hope they sort it out and am rooting for them. If they make it, we’ll be first in line to make wine with them again. It seems pretty clear the investors that sent you this communication wish only ill will to the company and it’s clients, regardless of their claim of trying to help, they clearly do not understand business if they were being earnest.

    Not that I always agree with you, Lew – but I appreciate the different points of view.

  3. Todd, I have really been a fan of Crushpad. I really like the people and had a really nice relationship with Michael Brill in the past. I harbor no ill for the folks there.

    The “hostility” comes from the fact that I asked Peter Ekman for facts (that’s my job).

    He could have told me the truth. He could have acted ethically and shared the reality with his customers and suppliers. After all — as we later found out, he had already told his investors the dire situation the company was in.

    Instead, he stonewalled. Then, later, had his social media folks savage me for not having facts that were in his power to share.

    I do not stand for having my own ethics impugned by a “shoot the messsenger” last ditch effort.

    That’s not hostility. That’s journalism.

  4. David James

    What is the asking price of Crush Pad? Can we have some transparency please. :)

  5. I am not an investor but I stopped by today July 31st at 389 4th Street East (Sebastian Wines Corporate Office) that apparently had leased facilities to Crushpad.

    Seeing that the Crushpad facilities were closed (same for San Francisco address) I entered the Sebastian Wines Corporate Office and inquired about Crushpad. I was told by a Sebastian Winery Employee that Crushpad was facing some “financial challenges” and that the State (I assume California) had stepped in and installed a “Receiver”. The
    employee went on the say that he had heard there would be an “auction of assets” next week.

    If anyone hears more please let me know.

    Good luck.


    Tom Phelan
    La Vida Buena VIneyards
    San Rafael, Mendoza Province, Argentina

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