Sunday, June 4, 2006

Turley in Second Lawsuit in Two Years

Another lawsuit is shaping up in Napa involving celebrated winemaker "goddess", Helen Turley, and her husband, John Wetlaufer. Just two years ago, the couple was also involved in a lawsuit against a former client, Don Bryant of Bryant Family Vineyards, which they won.

This time around, though, Turley is the defendant as she's being sued by her client, Roy Estate LLC of Napa, for breach of contract. Roy Estate is claiming that it has a long-term contract with Turley to oversee winemaking and vineyard management and to help market its new high-end wine. Turley, for her part, is denying there was ever a long-term agreement.

Interestingly, in her prior lawsuit against Bryant, it was Turley who sued Bryant for prematurely ending their agreement.

At any rate, it's entirely possible that the two parties would end up shaking hands and starting anew. For Turley and her husband, it's been a remarkably lucrative deal so far as they've been paid a whopping $800,000 by Roy Estate between 2001 and 2005. As for Roy Estate, having sunk that much money already, not to mention for the vineyard and the upcoming construction of a winery, it would need someone as bankable as Turley to charge the luxury price its wine must command.

C'mon guys, this is Napa. Let's make money, er wine, not war.

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