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Vintage Wine Estates pours $30M into Mendocino expansion

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Project team

Owner and general contractor: Vintage Wine Estates, Santa Rosa

Underground construction and site preparation: A to Z Construction, Ukiah

Engineered-steel building: Rackley Co. Inc., Orland, and Metallic Building Company, Sacramento

Electrical contractor: McDonell Electric, Santa Rosa

Wine storage tanks: Westec, Healdsburg

Vintage Wine Estates, one of the nation’s largest wine producers, is pouring $30 million into upgrades of its central production facility in Mendocino County to accommodate company growth.

The Santa Rosa-based company is wrapping construction of a 100,000-square-foot case goods warehouse at its Ray’s Station winery near Hopland and plans to build one of like size in the next year or two, according to Aaron Niderost, general manager.

Vintage Wine has doubled its storage capacity to about 3 million gallons of tanks, and the company plans to up that by a couple million gallons by this time next year, Niderost said.

It’s “to go along with our rapid expansion and growth,” he said.

The Hopland facility handles much of the bottling for California brands that aren’t estate-bottled. Vintage Wine’s portfolio has grown rapidly in the past several years to more than two dozen brands by acquisitions, launches and agreements.

Brands include B.R. Cohn, Cameron Hughes, Viansa Sonoma, Clos Pegase, Swanson Vineyards and Windsor Vineyards. Added recently were Firesteed Cellars, the company’s first foray into Oregon, and Buried Cane, a brand from Washington’s Columbia Valley brought in under a distribution agreement. Earlier this year, a deal was inked with HBO to make Game of Thrones Wines.

Ray’s Station Winery also handles custom crush and bottling projects for vintners outside the portfolio, and demand for more of those services is expected, Niderost said.

The Hopland winery was acquired in 2012 from the Weibel family then renamed Ray’s Station. Soon thereafter, Vintage Wine CEO Pat Roney said the company planned to relocate the bulk of its production to Hopland from Healdsburg.

In the past three years, the main bottling line moved, and a second, high-speed line was installed. Each line is operated around the clock with two shifts each. The Hopland winery employs about 90 full time, four times the crew of four years ago.

Early last year, REC Solar of Rohnert Park installed a 700-kilowatt solar array on 3 acres next to Ray’s Station Winery.

Jeff Quackenbush (jquackenbush@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4256) covers the wine business and commercial construction and real estate.

Project team

Owner and general contractor: Vintage Wine Estates, Santa Rosa

Underground construction and site preparation: A to Z Construction, Ukiah

Engineered-steel building: Rackley Co. Inc., Orland, and Metallic Building Company, Sacramento

Electrical contractor: McDonell Electric, Santa Rosa

Wine storage tanks: Westec, Healdsburg

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