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From: lewis.perdue@wineindustryinsight.com

Subject: Conti and Copperford Bankruptcies, Pahlmeyer Litigation - WINE INDUSTRY INSIGHT

Date: 2009-06-19 17:19:30

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Compli: the industry leader in compliance services


  • Famed grape grower Robert Young dies

  • Trustee Appointed in Copperford/Olde Lockeford Winery Bankruptcy

  • Conti Progressing Under Trustee Management

  • Napa Vintner Ron Spicer Dies

  • Pahlmeyer/Bear Sterns Case Transferred From NY To California

  • News Fetch


Hinman & Carmichael,Alcoholic Beverage Law

Famed grape grower Robert Young dies

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat has reported that Robert Young, a third generation farmer in Alexander Valley and a pioneer in the grape-growing industry, died Thursday night of causes incident to age. He was 90.

“He had a good long life,” said his daughter, Susan Sheehy. “He had a stroke in 1994, but that didn’t slow him down. Up until two Sundays ago, he went to church, and he was a regular at Kiwanis.”

The energetic Young followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Peter Young, and father, Silas Young, in growing prunes on 500 acres nestled against the foothills in Alexander Valley.

Read the rest of the article.

Conti Progressing Under Trustee Management

Conti Estate/Charles B. Mitchell Winery operations have made a “staggering improvement” since Michael and Michelle Conti were locked out of their bankrupt business on May 4, according to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California.


According to the first status report filed by Robert A. Luciano [$VIP], the U.S. Trustee appointed to oversee the Contis’ personal and business bankruptcies, “It is my opinion that by releasing the Conti’s from any presence at the winery and bringing back a large portion of the staff that previously worked for Charles B. Mitchell and were part of the success of that business has shown a staggering improvement in a very brief amount of time.

“Based on the progress that has been made with little or no roadblocks since May 4th, I am confident that by the June report I will have a bottling schedule established, events calendared through the fall of 2009 and the accounts receivable and payable will be more defined,” said Luciano’s court filing.

The status report previously noted that the winery’s locks had been changed on May 4.


A hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m., June 22 on a stipulation to allow the use of Bank of Alameda’s cash collateral for the month of July. According to the stipulation document (which also contains a cash flow projection) [$VIP] the collateral in question consists of the proceeds from wines sold from inventory.


Wine Industry Insight’s Data Callar also contains the Trustee’s monthly operating report for the period ending May 31,2009. [$VIP]


Miramont Estate: Put our prize-winning wine in your bottles

Pahlmeyer/Bear Sterns Case Transferred From NY To California

The Bear Sterns breach of contract suit against the Demeter Group and Pahlmeyer Vineyards [$VIP] has been transferred from New York Federal District Court to the Northern District of California.

The case has been closed on the docket in New York, but not yet re-opened in California.

VIP Subscribers click here to read the complete, un-redacted article.


(Redacted. VIP subscriber content)


Federal Judge John G Koeltl of the Southern District of New York granted the transfer on June 9, stating that he agreed with the reasons argued by Demeter.

Demeter's briefs [$VIP] argued that (Redacted. VIP subscriber content)

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Napa Vintner Ron Spicer Dies

Ron Spicer, beloved husband of Kathleen Spicer, brother of LaDonna Spicer, Patricia Smith and Jacqueline Altamura, died on Saturday, June 13, 2009, at his home in Napa, Calif.

Born in Rochester in 1939 to Henry and Rosetta Spicer, Ron was a cattle rancher in Theilman. Ron and Kathleen married in 1968, and were active and successful professional rodeo competitors across the Midwest and in professional rodeos and quarter horse shows in Pacific Coast competition. Ron’s event was calf roping, and he was very successful. Ron was Minnesota RCA Champion in 1974, 1975 and 1976. Ron was also a successful horse trainer in Minnesota, and qualified several horses for the World Quarter Horse and World Paint horse competition in calf roping and reining. Ron held clinics for calf roping and had many successful students.

Ron and Kathleen moved to the Napa Valley in 1976 and purchased vineyards in the Stags Leap and Oakville districts. Ron’s parents and sister, LaDonna, moved to the Napa Valley in 1979, and were partners with Ron and Kathleen in the Oakville vineyard, which was eventually sold to Swanson Vineyards. Ron concentrated his efforts on the Silverado Trail vineyard, where his home and quarter horse operation remain. Other than harvest, Ron did all the vineyard work himself. He was also employed by Rios Farming and Wight Vineyard Management. Ron was truly admired by all his associates for his hard work and determination to produce the finest grapes.

Spicer Vineyards has been a premium grape producer for Beaulieu (BV) Vineyards for 20 years, and is annually included in the BV winery George de Latour and Tapestry cabernet sauvignon wine.

Ron and Kathleen raised Australian Shepherd dogs and quarter horses. Ron’s great love for all his animals was his life’s joy.

Ron appreciated the advice and encouragement he always received from friends Manual Rios, Joe Miller, Doug Wight, and George Altamura.

There will be a celebration of Ron’s life from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19, with a sharing of memories at 3 p.m., at the home at 6161 Silverado Trail, Napa. All friends and associates are invited.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ron’s name may be made to the Cowboy Crisis Fund, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, 101 Pro Rodeo Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80919; or the American Quarter Horse Foundation, 2601 I-40 E., Amarillo, TX 79104.

Arrangements by Morrison Funeral Chapel of Napa Valley, 707-963-3536.

Condolences may be written to the family at www.morrisonfuneralchapel.com.

Trustee Appointed in Copperford/Olde Lockeford Winery Bankruptcy

Judge Michael S. McManus of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California has appointed a United States Trustee to oversee the management of the Copperford LLC Chapter 11. (Redacted. VIP subscriber content)

VIP Subscribers click here to read the complete, un-redacted article.

After appointing Trustee Vaske, Judge McManus also approved the use of cash collateral from (Redacted. VIP subscriber content)

In exchange for the use of collateral for the reorganization, the creditors will receive post-petition replacement liens on the cash collateral used.


Olde Lockeford Winery Faces Bankruptcy Trustee Hearing


(Sorted By Date)
June 23, 2009
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  • ================= CONTACT DATA ====================
    Lewis Perdue
    670 W. Napa St., Suite H, Sonoma, CA 95476
    Phone: 707-326-4503, fax: 707-940-4146
    Email: lewis.perdue@wineindustryinsight.com