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July 12, 2010
New Mexico's Gruet Winery has purchased Texas's Cap*rock Wine Company for $6.5m

As the fourth owners of the 21-year old winery siblings Laurent & Nathalie Gruet plan to use the facility to augment its renowned New Mexico sparkling wine production with that of Texas sparkling wines. The auction took less than two minutes.

Having estimated its worth at 2.5m Cap*rock's managing partner Don Roark had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 23 2009 with debts, including unpaid county property taxes and a $4 million loan from former owner PlainsCapital Bank, estimated at more than $5 million.

Gruet currently owns 150 acres of vineyards near southeastern New Mexico's Elephant Butte along with its winery, offices, and tasting room located along I-25 in Albuquerque. Its current annual production of 120,000 cases is distributed in 49 US states, Denmark, Japan, and the UK. Since its inception in 1987 the Champagne-originated family-owned winery has won numerous accolades for its sparkling wines and by most accounts is primarily responsible for having placed New Mexico on the map for quality wine production.

Auctioneer Williams & Williams told WBM that final sale was subject to bids having passed an undisclosed base price and won't be finalized for at least another week.

--David Furer

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