A vineyard company based in Plymouth, Calif., has filed for bankruptcy in federal court.

Renwood Vineyard Properties, which owns about 400 acres of vineyards at several sites east of Sacramento, is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Chapter 11 allows companies to stay in business as they draft debt-repayment plans with creditors.

The firm owes more than $8.3 million to fewer than 50 creditors and has about $14.7 million in assets, primarily in real estate, according to bankruptcy filings.

Robert Smerling, president and chairman of the company's board, did not respond to requests for comment from Capital Press.

Bankruptcy filings list the Renwood Winery, also of Plymouth, Calif., as the company's largest unsecured creditor, with a claim of about $737,000.

According to Renwood Winery's Web site, Smerling and a group of investors founded the winery in 1993. Its annual production has since grown from about 2,500 cases to more than 100,000 cases.

-- Mateusz Perkowski

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