Burbank Ranch Winery in Paso Robles expands operations

An architectural rendering of the processing facility in the works for Burbank Ranch Winery in Paso Robles.
An architectural rendering of the processing facility in the works for Burbank Ranch Winery in Paso Robles.

A new 19,000-square-foot processing, storage and tasting facility is in the works for Paso Robles’ Burbank Ranch Winery.

The building, expected to be complete by the end of this year, will be a first for the North County winery, which has operated a tasting room and bistro at 1240 Park St. in downtown Paso Robles since 2013.

Five years earlier, winery owners Fred and Melody Burbank planted grapes on their 80-acre ranch in the El Pomar area of the Paso Robles American Viticulture Appellation near Templeton.

About 45 acres of the ranch are planted with vines, featuring 16 varietals such as Bordeaux and Rhône reds, as well as Italian and Spanish grapes.

They’ve been processing their grapes offsite to produce about 4,600 cases per year, though a spokeswoman for the winery declined to say where.

Their new production facility is being built on the ranch, bringing operations in-house for the first time.

“This building is the last piece of the puzzle,” Fred Burbank said in a statement.

Construction began in November 2013. The tasting room is being built up top, with the storage and production areas below. The building is being built partially into a hillside to create 5,000 square feet of an underground storage vault for barrels and cases.

The new building will allow the winery to potentially increase annual case production, but its owners declined to elaborate.

San Luis Obispo architect Garth Kornreich designed the structure to mimic the sloping landscape of the natural area with energy-efficient elements using large windows for natural light, a slanted roof for ventilation and wastewater collection in underground tanks for distribution back into the vineyard.

Downtown, the winery’s tasting room and bistro serves lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

The winery declined to disclose financial information, including whether the company is profitable and how much it has invested in the construction project.