Dominari Winery files for bankruptcy

2011-08-02T23:15:00Z Dominari Winery files for bankruptcyJENNIFER HUFFMAN Napa Valley Register
August 02, 2011 11:15 pm  • 

Barrel Stop Winery and Dominari Winery co-owner Marie Schutz had high expectations in 2009 for the new 23,000-square-foot winery and custom-crush facility on Trancas Street. 

“It’s exciting,” Schutz said at the time. “We’re looking forward to our grand opening and sharing our wines.”

Those expectations appear to be on hold — for now. Barrel Stop Winery LLC, also doing business as “Dominari,” filed for bankruptcy Thursday.  

Barrel Stop Winery and Dominari Winery seem to have struggled with loans and other debts. In January, a $3.3 million loan for Barrel Stop Winery was in foreclosure. During that same month, a Napa family protested outside the winery entrance.

“Dominari Wines CEO does not pay back loans,” one sign read at the time. “Dominari Wines CEO owes growers,” said another.

Karen Menicucci said she was protesting an unpaid $15,000 debt owed by co-owners Marie and Jurgen Schutz to her brother, David Menicucci.

In addition to Menicucci, a number of local merchants said in January they had not been paid for work provided to Dominari Winery, Barrel Stop Winery and the Schutzes.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing for Barrel Stop Winery LLC notes estimated assets and liabilities worth $1 million to $10 million.

Of the 85 Barrel Stop Winery creditors listed in the filing, top creditors include a number of Napa growers, including Peggy Piccolo, Debbie Williams and Don Buhman, who are owed tens of thousands of dollars. 

The largest creditor is vendor Peju Province Winery, owed $114,185. The IRS is also listed as a creditor, with Barrel Stop Winery LLC owing $32,186.  

Other creditors include:

• Accountabilities — $14,371; 

• Consultants2Business — $22,963;

• Pisenti & Brinker — $46,518. 

Marie Schutz and a bankruptcy attorney representing Barrel Stop Winery could not be reached for comment Tuesday. 

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(5) Comments

  1. howiseeit
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    howiseeit - August 03, 2011 8:46 am
    Isn't the house on the property too? I'm curious if that is part of the bankruptcy too.
  2. glenroy
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    glenroy - August 03, 2011 11:18 am
    Sad situation it’s a beautiful facility but it comes down to a day late and a dollar short…a timing issue.

    Much thanks for our struggling neighbors goes to Thompson who voted lockstep with Pelosi, who voted lockstep with Reid, who voted lockstep with obama…

    To nobodies surprise liberalism failed before they even started this transfer of wealth to their political pals...the time to start a business has never been worse in this state and every other blue state.
  3. Mama San
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    Mama San - August 03, 2011 12:25 pm
    Instead of blaming individuals, wouldn't a better reason be that we have too many wineries in this county. Not everyone will be successful. This will continue over the years as it has before.
  4. reason-ator
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    reason-ator - August 03, 2011 1:12 pm
    Mama San said: "....This will continue over the years as it has before."

    Yep, they will keep allowing wineries to be built and fail.

    Oftentimes, the major stakeholders are protected from the bankruptcy. The loan companies will get the bankruptcy. ANd then they'll get the bailouts.

    The City won't get the piles of money that they envisioned when they saddle the rest of non-Hallowed ones with the burden of their fantasy, but they never learn and will continue looking for Jack's Beanstalk. It'll probably end up growing in the middle of a delapidated street. And the Weed Abatement Crew will mulch Jack's Beanstalk.

    Mama San said: "....This will continue over the years as it has before."

    Yep, it will continue over the years. Oddly, it's not as wonderful as you'd like it to sound, but, sadly, it will continue.

    It's about time for a new Copia and Clock Tower.
  5. msetty
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    msetty - August 03, 2011 3:01 pm
    glenroy said on: August 3, 2011, 11:18 am
    ...Much thanks for our struggling neighbors goes to Thompson who voted lockstep with Pelosi, who voted lockstep with Reid, who voted lockstep with obama…

    This comment should have been tagged as "off topic"...simply some spouting off by an ideologue.

    The Dominari situation probably has a lot more to do with the owners spending millions on an attractive, aesthetic facility before establishing the business on a sound financial footing.

    If it had been me, I would have started in low-cost digs at first, even if it were a garage or a cheap warehouse near the Airport. Looks like the owners may have been more image- than practical business conscious.

    As the hoary old saying goes, if you're not very, very careful "...the best way to make a small fortune in the wine/winery business is to start with a large one!"
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