Ranch Winery big on storage

Sometimes you have to do more than just make wine to succeed in the wine business.

Take Joel Gott (right). He had entered into a partnership with Trinchero to produce his Three Thieves wines, then wound up heading a group that purchased the Trinchero family's Chicken Ranch Zinfandel Road winery in St. Helena, CA.

That led to creation of The Ranch Winery, a new custom crush facility under development. Its first stage is a 33,000 square-foot barrel-storage room Gott sees as helping meet "a big need for barrel storage in Napa Valley."

He plans to be one of his own major customers, storing Joel Gott Wines, in the open room that can hold 10,000 to 15,000 barrels. The company plans to build a second, similar storage area as demand grows.

The storage room and the other plans for the huge facility are being supervised by Mark Beringer, The Ranch's general manager and head of winemaking operations, and formerly winemaker at Duckhorn Vineyards.

The Ranch eventually will occupy a 120,000 square-foot casegoods storage facility. Gott is leasing part of the operation back to the Trincheros.

According to Wines & Vines magazine:

"Gott is providing plenty of capacity for small start-ups, though he also expects to serve existing wineries and handle overflow from big wineries, too. Many of them have to process grapes out of county because of lack of capacity in Napa Valley. ... The Ranch is now installing 22 fermenters ranging from one to five tons in size, and expects to crush 500 tons there this year. There are plans to have 60 small fermenters and crush 2,000 tons in 2008, 5,000 in 2009, then 20,000 tons -- 1 million gallons -- in 2010. After that, the partners take over the whole facility, which has six million gallons of bulk storage and one million in fermentation tanks, as well as the presses and other equipment needed for this volume."

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