California wine center on the block

April L. Dowd photo

COPIA, the Napa, CA, wine and culinary center that teetered on the edge of insolvency through much of its brief history, is up for sale.

The owner is seeking bids for the shuttered facility that declared bankruptcy last December after running out of cash. Bidders have until Nov. 12 to submit proposals for the 17-acre property, according to a real estate company handling the sale.

The $78 million complex offers “an exciting opportunity for a new owner to develop a vibrant and valuable commercial and tourism destination,” he said.

ACA Financial Guaranty Corp., which controls the property, put it on the market. ACA insured the bonds issued to pay for COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts. Proceeds from the sale will go to repay the bondholders. The property is worth $25 to $35 million in the current market, according to estimates in bankruptcy court filings.

COPIA was the brainchild of wine pioneer Robert Mondavi, who died last year at age 94. It was financially troubled since its 2001 opening as a facility that included museum exhibition space, a restaurant, expansive gardens, meeting rooms and art galleries.

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