View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Loose Goose fest finished

Founder of Loose Goose Wine Festival forced to close doors on wine celebration

Posted: April 10, 2009 1:40 a.m.
Updated: April 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Almost six years after it started, the Loose Goose Wine Festival has been shut down.

In a Thursday e-mail to members of the Loose Goose Wine Society, founder Peter Goossens said "with a heavy heart" that the festival, society and related wine cellar in downtown Newhall were shut down Wednesday.

"In this time of drastic economic downturn, the market for luxury items has been extremely impacted," he wrote.

"As we lick our wounds and try to rebuild our lives, we can't help hoping for the excitement of what a new day will bring," his e-mail concluded.

Goossens did not return calls from The Signal Thursday afternoon.

October 2008 marked the fifth time Bridgeport Park in Valencia hosted the Loose Goose Wine Festival, which drew vendors and visitors from within and outside the Santa Clarita Valley.

"We're very saddened by the fact the Loose Goose has closed its doors," said Jessica Freude, an economic development associate with the city.

She said the wine festival was a perfect example of the kind of cultural tourism events the city likes.

The five-day festival drew several thousand people last year to events featuring fine wine and food, cigars and music at Bridgeport Park and the Robinson Ranch Golf Club.

In 2008, Freude said Santa Clarita saw roughly $750,000 in economic benefit from the festival. At this point, she said city officials are not actively seeking another event this year to fill the gap left by the loss of the festival.

"Peter was one of those faces ... that was highly recognizable," Freude said. "He supported so many nonprofits (and) embodied the kind of business mentality many people around here have."

It remains to be seen how the closure of the Loose Goose will affect a lawsuit filed against Goossens last August by stage manager Murray Siegel, who claims Goossens has not paid him for his help in creating the festival.

Siegel is suing Goossens for more than a quarter of a million dollars, including $125,000 in general damages, $140,000 in payment for work performed and repayment of a $15,000 loan.

Siegel now wonders if he'll ever see any of that money.

"There's now a huge asset that no longer exists," he said Thursday. "My guess is that will have a big impact on (the lawsuit)."

He said his hope is that Goossens divests himself of the assets of the Loose Goose and pays up.

The worst-case scenario he fears is: "That (Goossens) will disappear and I will never see anything again at all.

Siegel has worked as a stage manager for "Dancing With the Stars" and the Golden Globe awards, and said he hopes his experience with Loose Goose serves as a cautionary tale for others.

"It wouldn't surprise me if a few months from now Mr. Goossens doesn't come back with another great idea," he said.


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...