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Canned wine marketers left in lurch after Sonoma Cider/Beverage Works abruptly shuts down after fizzing through $6.2 Mil in venture capital.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 6.52.09 PM


After five years of fizzling through $6.2 million in venture funding, Sonoma Cider and its contract wine canning operation have abruptly been shut down by investors and have left numerous contract customers –large and small — scrambling to recover their wine, figure out how to keep it on track, and get it to market. The smaller the operation, the larger the potential damage with some fearing they may not survive.


According to the Sonoma Cider web site, the company was founded  Jan 16, 2013 by a father/son team, David Cordtz, Robert Cordtz.


In addition to interviewing seven customers or others close to the business, Wine Industry Insight reached out for comment to David Cordtz and board member Bob Greenberg for comment but none was received by publication time.


Customers refused to be interviewed on the record because of a gag clause in an agreement that allows them to reclaim their property from the shuttered business (more on that, below). However, all customers interviewed said they had experienced problems with production quality.


What’s up for grabs?

According to a company insider the company is trying to sell:

  • Two brands – Sonoma Cider and Ahoy Wines
  • A retail taproom
  • A  warehouse in Healdsburg, and
  • Two canning lines and associated production facility

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 4.58.23 PMNo Warning

“We didn’t take any actions to prepare for this because we were told by management that they had enough money to go through the end of May,” said Mike Williamson, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Seattle-based Precept Wine whose Original House Wine line of canned wine was the largest customer.


Williamson was sanguine about events saying that, for them, “it’s not the end of the world.” He was confident that he would be able to “work well with existing management” and be able to use mobile canning lines and other contract facilities to stay on track.”


Smaller customers said they were facing an “existential situation.”



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Also in this issue:

  • State law bankruptcy alternative in play: ABC( general Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors)

  • ABC’s not unknown in wine industry: Crushpad, My Wines Direct, Vin Folio

  • “Wine held hostage” — The Gag Order & Handcuffs

  • Fizzling through $6.2 million. Where did the money come from?


  • Who is Bob Greenberg: Investor #1 and Advisor, now in charge of the funeral

  • Who Are The other investors?

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