Biddle Ranch Vineyard building tasting room, vacation home

kleslie@thetribunenews.comMarch 21, 2014 

Biddle Ranch Vineyard is going all out when it comes to growth.

The San Luis Obispo-based vineyard is in its infancy, having offered its wines to the public for the first time on March 4, but the company is already working on three major projects to physically expand the brand in the area.

The vineyard is in the process of building a tasting room and vacation house on its 20 acres on Biddle Ranch Road off Highway 227, as well as updating the newly purchased Salisbury Vineyards Schoolhouse in Avila Beach to act as a tasting room.

“It is a lot, but it will be worth it,” general manager Lori Maraviglia said.

The opening date for the Biddle Ranch Road tasting room is still undetermined, Maraviglia said, but the vacation house is expected to be open June 1.

The winery is hoping to market the 2,500-square-foot home as a “mid-century, modern farmhouse” where families can stay or that can be rented for special events. The farmhouse will have backyard fire pits, pizza ovens and space for entertainment, as well as a seating area out front and access to the eventual tasting room.

With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a full kitchen, dining room and living room, Maraviglia said she expects at least six people could comfortably vacation there.

“It’s just a beautiful location in the Edna Valley,” she said. “It’s a gorgeous spot to stay and be right in the midst of the vineyards.”

The winery — which is co-owned by Compass Health CEO Mark Woolpert, AJ Contractor’s Supply owner Led Fortini, local attorney John Ronca, Roy Rawlings and Jerko Rendic — will also take over the Salisbury Vineyard’s Schoolhouse tasting room. One of the Biddle Ranch owners bought the building several months ago after it was on the market for close to two years.

Maraviglia did not know how much the Schoolhouse sold for, but Salisbury Vineyards owner John Salisbury told The Tribune in June 2012 that he was listing it for $2.75 million.

Because the Schoolhouse was already set up as a tasting room, only minimal improvements need to be made to the 3,600-square-foot space before it is ready for pouring, Maraviglia said. They are hoping to have it running by June 1, she said.

Once the Biddle Ranch Road tasting room is completed, the owners will consider whether to keep the Schoolhouse open as a tasting room as well, or transition it into a restaurant and deli, Maraviglia said.

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