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Follow-Up On CDFA Cosentino Hearing

While majority stockholder Larry Soldinger and other officials of Cosentino Winery have failed to return any of Wine Industry Insight’s requests for information about this (or any of the previous articles), more details have emerged from participants and observers at the August 31 hearing to revoke the winery’s processor license for non-payment of $1.2 million to 40 growers.

(See Judge Lets Cosentino Dodge $1.2 Million In Grower Payment Demands) for more details).

In brief:

  • The judge asked if the winery had contacted any of the growers to whom it owed almost $1.2 million for 2007 and 2008 grapes. McCallum said “not unless they have contacted us.”
  • The judge set an October 15 deadline for Cosentino to provide written proof that it has settled its accounts with its growers. But regardless of compliance or not, any action cannot be taken until November 11 which will allow the winery a free hand to buy for the 2009 vintage.
  • Cosentino Winery CFO Richard McCallum was asked directly by the judge whether the winery was contemplating a sale or bankruptcy.
  • McCallum replied “not to my knowledge” to both questions. However, Wine Industry Insight has learned from multiple sources that the winery has been quietly telling creditors that they have a buyer in the due diligence stages.
  • McCallum said the winery believes it has found a lender willing to provide a $4.5 million line of credit.
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