For 35 years, Premier Cru, a retail store on University Avenue, was a place to which wine lovers turned to find Bordeaux and Burgundy at a discount. Advertising its wares as 10% to 15% lower than other high-end wine stores, Premier Cru drew customers from around the globe
The FBI is investigating claims of a Ponzi scheme involving the Berkeley wine company Premier Cru.
As the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case of the Berkeley wine store winds its way through court, significant details emerge about its operations.
At a preliminary hearing discussion centered on whether wine was stolen or taken legitimately by three former employees of the West Berkeley winery.
The wine company claims it has more than $70 million in debts but only $7 million in assets, most of it wine, and leaves nearly 1,000 customers in the lurch.
Mal Warwick, who regularly contributes book reviews to Berkeleyside, calls Frances Dinkelspiel’s ‘Tangled Vines’ “a great read,” and “crammed with fascinating characters.” He gives it five stars.
Seven disgruntled customers have filed lawsuits against Premier Cru, a high-end wine store on University Avenue.
Mark Anderson, who is serving a 27-year prison sentence, attended John Muir Elementary School and enjoyed many favorite childhood haunts in the Claremont neighborhood.
Wine books are not known to be riveting reads and it is the rare volume that swallows its readers whole. 'Tangled Vines' is that uncommon page-turner.
The Berkeley winery's owners were devastated to discover that former employees may have embezzled as much as $70,490 worth of wine.