Ernest Hemingway Vineyards, Paso Robles, Calif., was shut down by the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control for selling liquor without a license for three years. Its owner, Daryn Pastuf, charged with selling without a license, a misdemeanor. He faces up to a $1,000 fine, six months in the county jail or both.
ABC agents visited the winery after receiving a tip in January. Upon arrival, they were asked if they wanted to do a wine tasting in the tasting room and they agreed. There were six other customers in the tasting room. The agents ordered wine, and one notices and expired alcohol license belonging to Clautiere LLC, the previous owner, framed by the front door.
Pastuf told investigators he thought the license from the previous owner "just rolls over" and he bought the vineyard licensed. He also said the vineyard hadn't been open since the Covid-19 pandemic, which wasn't true: Social media posts from the business and Pastuf showed the vineyard and tasting room with closed for only a few months during the pandemic and reopened June 12, 2020, according to the winery's Instagram.
Pastuf's most recent venture, AVA Capital Ventures NV LLC, active status was revoked for failing to file its annual reports, and he has haad four suspended wine businesses in Orange County, Calif. He then founded Kingdom Wine & Spirits Inc. in January 2016, which was suspended in December 2017 and March 2018.
Pastuf and a partner were sued Feb.15 for failing to make payments on a $23,920 loan which had been secured by future revenue. They were supposed to pay back $299 a day to the lender. A hearing on that case is set for June.