Caprock Winery on the auction block, again - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/27/10

Caprock Winery on the auction block, again

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Caprock Winery is going back on the auction block. That announcement came Tuesday, after the original buyer announced he couldn't come up with the money.

Laurent Gruet made the winning bid on July 12, buying the winery for $6.3 million. Now, he cannot come up with enough money to make the deposit, which is 10 percent of the bid. Gruet is one of the owners of Gruet Winery in Albuquerque.

Our NBC affiliate in Albuquerque uncovered that he has racked up five drunk driving arrests. he has been convicted of two, and has another case pending for an April arrest.

Gruet is allowed to keep his liquor license, unless he is convicted of a felony. A fourth DWI arrest would be a felony.

The man in charge of selling Caprock Winery says Gruet had told him about the financing problems before he learned of Gruet's legal troubles, but Trustee Max Tarbox says that the buyer would have been Gruet Winery, which has a good history.

"This was very, very rare," says Tarbux. "He was given a list of the terms and conditions of the auction before he started bidding, and I think he simply couldn't get the backing of his fellow owners at Gruet Winery."

The new auction will not be public. Instead, those interested will provide sealed bids. Bidding ends at midnight August 3rd. Tarbux hopes to have court approval of the winner by August 4th.

Tarbux says they're also exploring what legal action they can take against Gruet for pulling out of the deal.

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