Mrz 09 2010

Vineyard Defaults Surge as Bargain Wines Hurt Napa

Tag: Regionensigi.hiss @ 08:38

By Dan Levy – March 8 (Bloomberg) — In California’s Napa Valley, producer of the most expensive U.S. wines, 2010 may be a vintage year for foreclosures as the industry is squeezed by falling land values and a consumer shift to cheaper brands.

As many as 10 wineries and vineyards in Napa will change hands in distressed sales or foreclosures this year and next, up from none in 2008, according to Silicon Valley Bank. In a bank survey of vintners, 7 percent called their finances “very weak” or “on life support.”

“We have 250 vintner clients saying this downturn is the worst in 20 years,” Bill Stevens, manager of the bank’s wine division in St. Helena, California, said in an interview. “Anybody who was late to the party won’t have staying power.”

Land values in Napa, home to about 400 producers, have fallen 15 percent from the 2007 peak, driven in part by slumping demand for high-end wine, said Robert Nicholson, principal at International Wine Associates, a consulting and financing firm in Healdsburg, California. The decline makes it harder for owners to refinance mortgages, especially if the property is worth less than the loan. Continue reading „Vineyard Defaults Surge as Bargain Wines Hurt Napa“

Mrz 09 2010

Six arrests over Aussie wine scam

Tag: Allgemeinessigi.hiss @ 08:35

FRAUD squad police in London arrested six people overnight over an alleged $5m scam in which investors were told they were buying specialist Australian wines that did not exist. Those targeted were told that Australian wines could be „laid down“ and would increase in value with age, the Metropolitan Police said.

Along with two earlier arrests those detained on suspicion of money laundering included two women aged 40 and 32 and men aged 30, 34, 40 and 65. “This kind of investment fraud is becoming far too common. People from all economic backgrounds are being targeted to invest in what appears to be a sound financial opportunity.,“ said Detective Chief Inspector Robin Cross, from the Economic and Specialist Crime Command said.