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Wine Spectator: High-End Wine Storage Company WineCare To Be Liquidated

January 2, 2014

Wine Spectator reports that WineCare, the high-end Manhattan storage facility that experienced flood damage during Hurricane Sandy, has been sunk for good. Federal Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber of the Southern District of New York ruled December 16 that the company would be liquidated following a year of operational and legal woes, during which most clients were unable to access their wines.

WineCare filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on January 30, 2013, after being sued by restaurateur Keith McNally for either the return of his wines or $2 million, plus $1 million to cover losses incurred in the months after the storm. In the year since then, creditors have piled on, eventually requesting a motion that the case be converted to a Chapter 7 case—liquidation of the company under the supervision of a U.S. trustee.

After waving off one attempt to install a trustee in June, citing WineCare’s need for time to re-index the 27,000 cases of wine that had become unidentifiable after the storm destroyed a computer database, Gerber ruled it was time to turn over the reins of the company. By December 20, WineCare’s answering machine had been disconnected (earlier attempts to reach Derek Limbocker, founder and CEO of the company, went unanswered) and, according to Gary Kaplan, attorney for four prominent collectors, the trustee had begun securing the premises and contacting experts to assess the situation. A letter sent to 36 creditors and obtained by Wine Spectator instructed them not to file claims for their wines yet, as they are not immediately available. For the full story, click here.

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