One of the largest wineries in the Paso Robles area of California, EOS Estate Winery has been placed in receivership. The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports that one of the winerys lenders, Farm Credit West, is acting as the court-ordered receiver and has been put in charge of the books. Business continues as usual at the winery which puts out over 200,000 cases of wine a year. Saint James EOS Winery bought the company from Sapphire Wines, a Tennessee-based firm owned and controlled by Jeffrey Hopmayer and Saint James chief executive officer Kerry Vix says that the winery is in trouble because of extensive borrowing by the previous owner. Hopmayer meanwhile says that Saint James failed to obtain the necessary funding to keep the winery afloat because of the flabby economy. EOS Estate Winery sells a large range of wines including whites, reds and desert wines. Most wines are in the $12-$40 range. It was founded by the Arciero family in 1985 but sold to Sapphire Wines in 2007. EOS owes an estimated $16.5 million to lenders, including a $7.5 million loan from Farm Credit West and $8 million owed to Entertainment Properties Trust. The winery also owes $2 million to $3 million to growers and $1.2 million in rent not paid since August 2009. As much as $1 million may be missing from the winerys books and a hunt is on find the missing finds. There is also talk of a potential buyer who might come in and takeover the winery. Another hearing on the case is scheduled for next week.
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