North Bay Business Journal

Monday, August 20, 2012, 6:30 am

DFV Wines plans south Napa Valley bottling plant


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    NAPA — DFV Wines plans to open a sizable bottling plant in south Napa this fall for its growing stable of North Coast brands.

    The company, run by the Indelicato family, leased 33,500 square feet of a recently built 107,000-square-foot warehouse at 1560 Airport Blvd. near the entrance to Napa County Airport. Though sized to handle 1 million cases of wine annually at full production, the bottling plant immediately would be focused on North Coast brands Black Stallion and Irony as well as a handful private labels made from local fruit, according to John Yarborough, vice president of winery operations.

    “We’ve expanded our presence in Napa in the last few years and made Napa Valley wines for several years,” he said. “Now that we’re in Napa, we feel it’s necessary to bottle there, rather than ship the wine to Manteca for bottling.”

    DFV Wines plans to open a sizable bottling facility in this new south Napa industrial building this fall. (credit: Cushman & Wakefield)

    Known for popular mass-market wine brands Bota Box and Delicato, now called Domino, the Indelicato family invested in high-end Napa Valley production with the purchase of Black Stallion Estate Winery on Silverado Trail in May 2010. Annual brand production now is 35,000 cases of Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay wines. The wines retail from about $20 to $175 a bottle.

    Earlier this year, the family purchased a south Napa office building where marketing and headquarters offices are based.

    For the Irony brand, annual production at contract Napa Valley wineries ranges between 60,000 and 70,000 cases of Napa cab and chardonnay plus 6,000 to 7,000 cases of Russian River pinot noir.

    DFV Wines (707-265-1700, dfvwines.com) started looking for industrial space to start Napa-area bottling facility in summer of last year, but the footprint, volume, speed to completion and other features of options in the market weren’t the right fit, Mr. Yarborough said.

    “The goal was to get the facility up and running quickly,” he said. With bottling and packaging equipment on site since July, DFV wants to have permits in hand to start installing it and outfitting the space for its needs in time for the facility to be operational by the end of October.

    The Dowling-Bracco Team of Cushman & Wakefield, which was marketing the 1560 Airport building at the time, connected DFV with E&P Properties, which was ready to break ground on the project in mid-2011.

    On July 18 of this year, the Napa County Planning Commission unanimously approved the bottling center modification to the building use permit, originally approved to allow E&P affiliate Metropolitan Van & Storage of Benicia to store store belongings of military personnel from bases around the country during extended deployments, according to Napa County documents.

    The building was finished in spring of this year. The remainder of 1560 Airport is being used for storage.

    DFV Wines’ Napa bottling facility project is part of a much larger production upgrade for the company. DFV has a five-year, three-phase plan to expand its crush capacity at its main winery near Manteca by nearly 43 percent to 200,000 tons of grapes a year and wine production by one-third to the equivalent of 16 million 9-liter cases annually, according to San Joaquin County documents and local news reports.

    The Napa bottling center project team includes general contractor Panattoni Construction and RMW Architecture of San Rafael.

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