Winery Service Connection of Santa Rosa wins a Wine Industry Award

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GARY QUACKENBUSH,

FOR NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

While working for a company providing mobile services to the wine industry, David Peritore discovered that too often equipment was not being adequately maintained and often failed during harvest.

“What is frustrating is that every year wineries that have equipment malfunctions when they must pick grapes and sometimes have to wait weeks to get help,” Peritore said. “Our experience shows that Winery Service Connection can reduce these failures to nearly zero.”

Using his background in data communications and the wine industry, Peritore created an online software program which streamlines production equipment management. With this service, clients get real-time access to the status of their equipment and can make instantaneous, fully informed repair and upgrade decisions

Peritore is convinced that other service teams in the wine industry could use this technology to benefit their clients and technicians while limiting production downtime.

“We focus on providing maintenance through technology,” he said. “We offer customers a more efficient maintenance experience by uncovering potential pitfalls and breakdowns before they occur. Our customers rely on our information to avoid surprises and lost time. Because maintenance is performed during the off-season, I am available to respond to true emergencies during harvest.”

According to Bruno Petiteaux, cellar master at Hanna Winery, the service allows access to current and historic reports without printing them.

“I can view and approve proposed tasks, see machine logs, prepare my budget for next year and know how much I’m spending on each type of equipment,” Petiteaux said. “This data helps me plan my schedule and have equipment ready for the harvest.”

Charles Barr, owner of Bennett Ridge Vineyards, said David Peritore learns as much as he can about every winery he supports, including intricate details about the equipment.

“He provides service and maintenance for various models and model years, while keeping records current and allocating his time to keep our equipment in top working order,” Barr said.

Having a one-stop-shop for all equipment management is important for Shelly Rafanelli-Fehlman, winemaker with A. Rafanelli Winery.

“We only have to deal with a single provider rather than many. WSC takes care of all the parts to be ordered as well as delivery,” Rafanelli-Fehlman said. “If we have a breakdown, David often arrives within an hour to make sure operations are not delayed.”

For Adam Larson, cellar master for Pahlmeyer Winery, “WSC’s technique of thoroughly documenting and photographing all of the estimated preharvest repairs needed for enrolled equipment has made it easy for me to understand what needs to be done. Having an itemized repair list has taken all of the mystery and guesswork out of routine maintenance.”

John Harley, winemaker at Marietta Cellars, agreed.

“WSC’s program is nothing like I have ever seen before,” Harley said. “Peritore provides a road map to future costs and preventive maintenance. There is comfort in knowing that my equipment will do what it is designed to do at the most crucial time of the year — and if it doesn’t — David will be there to fix it.”