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Hoke

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Gary Eberle pushed out by relatives at Eberle Winery

by Hoke » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:57 pm

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/01/14/2876126/gary-eberle-winery-replaced.html

In an apparent surprise move by relatives (sister-in-law), Gary Eberle has been removed as operating partner from the winery he founded in Paso Robles. One of the most iconic figures of Paso Robles, Gary was dumbfounded in his reaction to the move and seemed to indicate that operating as the offered "figurehead" but without control was not what he desired to do, he would decide his future plans once the shock had worn off.

The reason for the sudden change was vague, but apparently the new managers wanted to take the winery in a direction that Gary didn't wish to go----so it sounds like they wanted volume and profit increases. Since the winery was operating at a solid profit (by all accounts), it seems it was just a "we want more" action.

Ironic, if so, since Gary Eberle had many years ago left Estrella Winery after establishing it and watching it become a large volume jug wine producer. He founded Eberle, to make moderate amounts of high quality wine in a definitive style, and along the way was an outspoken advocate for Paso Robles wine country.

[On a personal note, I've known and liked Gary for many years----I brought his wines to Texas because I admired the man, his wines, and his philosophy so much)---and have worked alongside him at competitions as well. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the man. He WAS Eberle wines. I can view this as nothing but an unfortunate and downright sad event for the winery and what Gary built over the years. What we don't need in this industry is just another big volume-driven winery producing indiscriminate wine; but I fear that's what we'll get.]
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Brian K Miller

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Re: Gary Eberle pushed out by relatives at Eberle Winery

by Brian K Miller » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:05 pm

Well...we can spread the news so the coup plotters eventually fail.
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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Lou Kessler

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Re: Gary Eberle pushed out by relatives at Eberle Winery

by Lou Kessler » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:29 pm

Brian K Miller wrote:Well...we can spread the news so the coup plotters eventually fail.

We don't know the financial situation with the winery, wouldn't want to hurt Gary.
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Re: Gary Eberle pushed out by relatives at Eberle Winery

by Hoke » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:48 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:
Brian K Miller wrote:Well...we can spread the news so the coup plotters eventually fail.

We don't know the financial situation with the winery, wouldn't want to hurt Gary.


You're right, Lou. Gary still owns a big chunk of the winery, so if it loses money, it affects his income.

There is just no way, though, that I can see this as being positive for the winery. Gary is so closely identified with the winery and the wines, and he is so well-liked, both in the Paso community and the general wine community, that it's kind of hard to imagine the winery keeping it's core constituency intact, especially with Gary not interested in playing figurehead.
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Re: Gary Eberle pushed out by relatives at Eberle Winery

by Carl Eppig » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:49 pm

This concerns me very much. I admired Gary too, and have met him on one of my Paso trips. He was a perfect gentleman on our meeting.
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TomHill

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Stupid

by TomHill » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:47 am

It's a stupid/short-sighted/foolish/bull-headed move by Gary's sister-in-law.
I had a nice visit w/ Gary last Aug when I was there. Just chatting for an hour or so.
The wnry was doing just fine, selling everything they could make. My guess is that Gary will be pushed
out the door and removed from day-to-day operations. Whoever would step into Gary's position (probably Jeanne)
would be stepping into a swamp. GaryEberle is EberleWnry. Without Gary, the wnry is just a winemaking facility.
Gary's brother is in an Alzeheimer's care facility. Jeanne convinced him to give her power of attourney for his affairs.
This scenario has been played out before in this great Nation. It's something Gary should be able to fight in court and
the court will decide whose power-of-attourney is in his brother's best interest.
Not to worry about Gary. He will land on his feet. He's done it before & will do it again. He's too young to turn out to pasture.
I predict he'll eventually be sitting in the head seat at EberleWnry sometime in the future. He's one of JoePaterno's products.
That counts for quite a lot. Gary would be on the phone w/ JoePa right now...were that a posibility.
Tom
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Craig Winchell

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Re: Gary Eberle pushed out by relatives at Eberle Winery

by Craig Winchell » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:48 am

I like Gary. He used to distribute GAN EDEN in the Southland through his distribution company. Is that still going? If so, how does that figure in all of this? Is it his or his family's?
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EberleDistributing...

by TomHill » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:04 pm

Craig Winchell wrote:I like Gary. He used to distribute GAN EDEN in the Southland through his distribution company. Is that still going? If so, how does that figure in all of this? Is it his or his family's?


Craig,
That was a business that was started in Paso by JeannieEberle, Gary's now ex-wife. She got to keep the distributing company in the
divorce settlement. She eventually sold it to LoraineAlban. Don't know what name it goes under these days.
I believe Jeannie still lives there in Paso. Retired.
Tom
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JC (NC)

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Re: Gary Eberle pushed out by relatives at Eberle Winery

by JC (NC) » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:46 pm

I've been following this story from links on WineBerserkers and saw comments in the local Paso Robles newspaper to the brief article the paper ran. The commentary showed how well-regarded Gary is in the Paso Robles community and how irate the citizens are about this move. I've had several of the Eberle wines (I think Zinfandel and Barbera?) It's a sad turn of events.
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Re: Gary Eberle pushed out by relatives at Eberle Winery

by Hoke » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:16 pm

Gary responded with some comments for KSBY---basically he wanted to grow from 26.000 cases annually to roughly 30.000 cases annually, and the other partners envisioned 150.000---200.000 cases annually as their target.

Anyone who knows the wine business knows what that means.

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