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Farm Credit, Bankruptcy Trustee Working Out Final Details of Rabbit Ridge Winery Final Sale

Farm Credit West and the bankruptcy trustee in charge of the former Rabbit Ridge property have entered the final financial stages prior to the scheduled over-bid auction now scheduled for Feb. 15.


The property was once owned by Rabbit Ridge Wine Sales owner and winemaker Erich Russell who lost the property after two bankruptcy filings. and a last second transfer of real estate to Northern Holdings, Inc. which declared its own bankruptcy within hours of buying the property.


A previous failed auction for the Rabbit Ridge Winery property and a 310-acre vineyard was scheduled for June 10, 2021 but proved unsuccessful.


The current auction — which will take place at the bankruptcy court — will cover the winery and estate parcel only. Any new bids must exceed the current $9.1 million bid by Riboli Paso Robles LLC. According to court records, Riboli is drilling test water wells and conducting other due-diligence.


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Overbid Rules Summary

In summary, the bid procedures are as follows (Direct quotes from the filing):Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 9.45.35 AM

  •  Buyer may use the Break Up Fee as a cash credit against its bid, provided that it is the successful/highest bidder.
  • “Buyer agrees that its last bid, if unsuccessful, will serve as the back-up bid.
  • “Trustee has sole discretion to determine the “best bid” for the Live Oak Property.”

“Footnote 4: The due diligence costs are not anticipated to exceed are Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 10.19.49 AMsuccessful bidder, the winning bidder will be entitled to receive a $50,000 credit against the purchase price.”

Full Set Of Overbid Rules

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Farm Credit Files Conditional Objection To Sale

Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 9.46.30 AM

On Jan. 26, 2022, Farm Credit West filed a conditional objection to the pending sale. (Direct quotes from the filing):

“FCW has no objection to the general efforts of the Motion to sell the real property commonly known as 2380 Live Oak Road, Paso Robles, California (the “Property”). Pursuant to the stipulation between the Trustee and FCW, however, the sale may not close unless FCW is paid through escrow and the

Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 10.15.02 AM

Below is a summary of FCW’s estimates:

Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 10.06.13 AM

Both Sides’ “As Is” Appraised Values in Same Ball Park

  • Northern Holdings: $9.7 Million – ECF27
  • Farm Credit West{ $11 Million –  ECF70-1

Full Court Filings Available to Wine Executive News Premium Subscribers

Previous Wine Industry Insight Articles on Rabbit Ridge

Please note: Some of the premium document links inside the previous articles below may not work thanks to a WordPress “upgrade.” The ones above are okay. We’re working on a fix for those in the previous articles.