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From: lewis.perdue@wineindustryinsight.com

Subject: Demetria Files Ch11, IBG Gets New CEO, Stevenot Brand Sold - WINE INDUSTRY INSIGHT - EMAIL EDITION

Date: 2010-03-04 14:58:33

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  • Demetria Estate Winery/DAZ Vineyards Files Chapt 11

  • IBG Chooses New CEO

  • Stevenot Brand Sale Closes, Munari Retains Winery

Demetria Estate Winery/DAZ Vineyards Files Chapt 11

DAZ Vineyards, LLC of Los Olivos, dba Demetria Estate Winery, has filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

The Santa Barbara County winery is owned 90 percent by Centrium & Associates and 10 percent by DAZ Holdings LLC. Both LLCs are controlled by Santa Monica real-estate developer John Zahoudanis and his family.

A status hearing has been scheduled for 2 p.m., Mar. 14 at the bankruptcy court in Santa Barbara. BANKRUPTCY FILING SHOWS 20+ MILLION POSITIVE NET WORTH

According to initial bankruptcy filings, DAZ Vineyards listed assets of $32,071,232 and liabilities of $11,418,337 leaving a positive net worth of $20,652,895.

(All amounts in this article are rounded to the nearest dollar.)

The filing valued real estate at $12.2 million and personal property at $19,871,232 (including bulk wine and case goods, intellectual property, office and farming equipment).

Creditors holding secured claims totaled $11,185,299, mostly for real estate, county taxes, major equipment and wine.

Unsecured priority claims were $40,681 for state taxes. Unsecured, non-priority claims including grape growers and other trade debts amounted to $192, 356.

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Hinman &
Carmichael,Alcoholic Beverage Law

IBG Chooses New CEO

Inertia Beverage Group (IBG) has named Joseph W. Waechter as CEO to replace Ted Jansen who left the company to join his family in Seattle, Washington, and to pursue new opportunities in that area.

Waechter is the former president and CEO of DHL Worldwide Express and more recently managing director of California Pacific Capital

IBG Chairman Dave Manougian said that Waechter was selected for the top post at the company because of his extensive background in logistics, fulfillment and business management.

Waechter, 56, who worked for DHL for 15 years, is credited with the growth and expansion of DHL as it transitioned from a virtually unknown company into the world’s largest express shipment company. Later, he was president and CEO of Air Micronesia, chairman and CEO of United Micronesia Development Association and chairman and CEO of Danao International Holdings, a developer of golf, hotel and resort properties in Vietnam. Most recently he was managing director of California Pacific Capital, a San Francisco-based investor in early-stage companies.

“Joe’s logistics and fulfillment experience makes him a perfect fit for his new job at IBG as it continues to build the most full-featured end-to-end platform for eCommerce and its constituent parts for online sales in the wine industry,” Manougian said.

Stevenot Brand Sale Closes, Munari Retains Winery

Sutter Creek-based Oliveto Distributing Inc. finally closed its purchase of the Stevenot wine brand on Feb. 24 when a bankruptcy court confirmed the Chapter 11 reorganization plan of Golden Eagle Estates LLC.

Jack Munari, the principal of Golden Eagle Estates purchased the Stevenot Winery and brands from Barden Stevenot in 2006 and took it into Chapter 11 reorganization on Jan. 9, 2009 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

Under the previous ownership, the Murphys, CA winery had filed for Chapter 11 on January 24, 2005 and emerged from that proceeding June 21, 2006.

Under the reorganization plan, Munari retains control of the winery facility.


Oliveto — which has distributed Stevenot wines since the early 1980s — has made a down payment of $400,000 which will be used to pay debts of Golden Eagle Estates.

According to the purchase agreement ($ VIP subscriber content) and the Golden Eagle Estates Reorganization Plan’s Disclosure Statement ($ VIP subscriber content) , Oliveto has agreed to buy the Stevenot name, brand, trademarks and other intellectual property as well as the Stevenot Wine Club.

In addition to the payment of $400,000, Oliveto has agreed to purchase an additional $400,000 to $500,000 worth of wine from Golden Eagle.

The funds from those wine sales are earmarked to be paid directly to Bay Sierra Financial, Inc, the loan servicer which holds the trust deed on the winery’s real estate and personal property.


As part of the reorganization plan, Bay Sierra Mortgage of Santa Rosa has agreed to modify its loan to Golden Eagle Estates.

The court approved a set of Bay Sierra’s conditions ($ VIP subscriber content) and its modification documents ($ VIP subscriber content) as part of the plan confirmation.

Among the conditions, Bay Sierra will require a personal guarantee from Jack Munari for the $2,764,342 loan. The original loan was for $2,470,000.

The conditions also include timely monthly payments of $17,277 per month on a 36-month note.


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