A family-owned vineyard company in California has filed for bankruptcy protection, but the firm's managing member says its financial outlook is secure.

Salisbury Vineyards of San Luis Obispo County, Calif., has filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcy, which is geared specifically to family farmers who are trying to restructure their debt.

John Salisbury, the company's managing member, said the bankruptcy filing is related to the purchase of an additional vineyard parcel.

The prior landowner had borrowed against the property, and Salisbury took on that debt as part of the sale, he said.

The company filed for bankruptcy to gain more time to pay off a portion of the debt, Salisbury said. "It's not the greatest time to get your financing together," he said.

The family has been farming in the area for about 160 years and expects to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings within several months, Salisbury said.

The company has about $2.3 million in assets, mostly real estate, and owes about $2.5 million to fewer than 50 creditors, according to the bankruptcy filing.

The firm reported selling about $274,000 of grapes last year, up from $187,000 in 2007.

-- Mateusz Perkowski

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