Adelaida Cellars and Vina Robles Winery are pursuing large expansion projects in the North County that would significantly increase their wine production capacity and square footage. Neither proposal calls for planting more grapes.
Adelaida, which produces between 15,000 and 18,000 cases a year, would nearly double its capacity, and Vina Robles would nearly triple its production capacity to 100,000 cases annually from about 35,000 now.
The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission recently approved Vina Robles Winery’s request to build a 102,000-square-foot wine processing facility on Priska Road near Union Road east of Paso Robles.
Adelaida Cellars’ proposal will go before the county Planning Commission on Nov. 6. If the project is approved, the winery will break ground on a new tasting room by the end of the month and expects to complete it by next fall, according to General Manager Jessica Kollhoff.
Here’s a closer look at each project:
Adelaida Cellars has long held on to its “small winery” designation, but with the Paso Robles wine region’s recent surge in popularity have come some serious space problems, Kollhoff said.
“It used to be the really busy weeks were festival weekends and such,” she said. “Now, it feels like every weekend is a festival weekend. It’s that busy.”
According to Kollhoff, the winery now sees about 1,600 visitors a month, most on weekends, which puts space at a premium in its 600-square-foot tasting room at 5805 Adelaida Road.
Although they recently completed several renovations to the existing 23,175-square-foot facilities to “free up some space,” Kollhoff said the time seemed right to pursue a significant expansion to give the winery a little more breathing room.
“Nobody wants to be bumping elbows when they are tasting wines,” Kollhoff said. “We’re here to service our guests and give them a tasting-room experience that reflects the wine.”
The proposed project would include adding an 8,200-square-foot building that features a 2,015-square-foot tasting area, a lounge, VIP library, commercial kitchen, storage rooms, offices and barrel storage, according to documents submitted to the county. A separate 8,558-square-foot building for more barrel storage would also be built, as well as a 3,413-square-foot office addition to the existing production space.
All together, the expansion would add roughly 20,171 square feet to the winery, bringing it to more than 43,000 square feet.
Kollhoff said it was unlikely that the company would ever produce 30,000 cases of wine — its new production capacity — noting that it would most likely cap production at about 20,000 cases annually.
Vina Robles Winery
Vina Robles marketing director Simone Michel confirmed the company’s intent to build a wine processing facility but declined to comment further on the project.
The facility will be built in two phases on 45 acres at 1150 Priska Road, according to the county’s planning and building department staff report.
The first phase would include a two-story, 80,680-square-foot building that would house a wine processing facility, administrative space, kitchen area, barrel and case good storage area, lab, press and crush bay, restrooms, locker room, equipment maintenance room, break room, access improvements, water storage and wastewater storage ponds, and a parking area.
Phase two would include adding 21,680 square feet for a wine storage area, according to the report. The project does not include any plans for a public tasting room or special event space.
All together, it would take up 9.87 acres.
The facility would have a maximum wine production capacity of 100,000 cases per year (Vina Robles Winery currently produces approximately 35,000 cases annually).
The staff report does not mention a timeline for the project.
Vina Robles currently uses five estate vineyards in San Luis Obispo County, totaling more than 1,100 acres, according to its website. It also operates a 14,000-square-foot hospitality center and 3,300-seat event venue, the Vina Robles Amphitheatre.