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Lawsuit Alleges Crowd-Funded Triumph Wine Group Didn't Pay For Grapes

by Kerana Todorov
April 25, 2019

A grape merchant is suing a wine company for allegedly failing to pay for fruit harvested in 2017, according to court documents.

Agajanian Inc. of Madera, alleges Triumph Wine Group LLC owes $272,666 for fruit harvested from Lake and Sonoma counties, according to the complaint filed April 17 in Napa County Superior Court. The $272,666 includes late payment service fees. Agajanian also seeks unspecified damages, attorney fees and other costs that continue to accrue, according to the complaint.

It is unclear where the fruit was crushed. Triumph Wine coordinated the transport and delivery of the fruit, according to court filings.

Efforts to reach a Triumph Wine representative were unsuccessful.

It is unclear where Triumph Wine, which has a listed office in Napa, produces its wine or ever sold any.

Triumph Wine has done custom crush work at McNab Ridge in Hopland but is not a current client at the winery, according to a representative for the Mendocino County winery. Triumph Wine does not owe McNab Winery any money, Bill Carle, an attorney for McNab Ridge, wrote in an email.

A group of investors formed Triumph Wine Group LLC in 2016 to acquire Calistoga Cellars and Triumph Cellars, according to a business plan posted on the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s Website.

Calistoga Cellars sold its Napa winery and vineyard in 2007 during the financial crisis but continued to operate as a brand, Triumph stated. It changed its name to Triumph Cellars in 2007 to comply with Napa Valley’s American Viticultural Area rules, according to the documents filed as the company tried to raise money for its business.

As of January 2018, the company was seeking $1 million from investors via a crowdfunding website to increase production from 3,500 cases annually up to 40,000 cases a year, according to its business plan. Triumph’s plan was to sell the wine in the U.S. and China, according to the document.

Its site states $545,000 already has been capitalized by founding members. However, the listed dollar amount raised on is $0.

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