Business

Former Meridian winery to take on Treasury’s ‘masstige’ wines

The exterior of the Paso Cellar 360 winery facility at 7000 E. Highway 46. The site will produce all of Treasure Wine Estates’ “masstige” wines — those retailing for $10 to $20 that combine prestige and mass-market appeal.
The exterior of the Paso Cellar 360 winery facility at 7000 E. Highway 46. The site will produce all of Treasure Wine Estates’ “masstige” wines — those retailing for $10 to $20 that combine prestige and mass-market appeal.

Wine production at the old Meridian winery on Highway 46 East in Paso Robles will get a boost as owner Treasury Wine Estates consolidates winemaking operations on the Central and North Coast.

The move follows Treasury’s $552 million purchase of the majority of spirits giant Diageo’s wine business in October, including well-known brands Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards.

The Paso Cellar 360 winery facility at 7000 Highway 46 East will produce all of the company’s “masstige” wines — those retailing for $10 to $20 that combine prestige and mass-market appeal, according to Treasury spokesperson Megghen Driscol. Those wines span various labels including BV Coastal, Chateau St. Jean’s California line, Sterling Vintners Collection, Beringer Founders Estate and Sledgehammer, as well as Meridian wines.

Treasury — which owns Penfolds and is Australia’s largest wine company — will also sell a winery in Paicines east of Salinas that it acquired in the deal and move production of a few small labels, including Great American Wine Co. and Woodwork, to Paso Robles. Other changes announced last week involve consolidating production of luxury wines, those retailing over $20, primarily at its Beringer winery in Napa.

To boost capacity, Treasury will spend $40 million on capital upgrades at its winemaking facilities across the state, Driscol said, though it has yet to determine how much of that will be spent on the Paso Robles winery.

Production in Paso Robles is expected to grow to 50,000 tons of grapes over the next couple of years from a projected 35,000 tons this year. The winery will gain about 10 new positions, though most are likely to be filled by existing Treasury employees, Driscoll said.

There are no plans to reopen the tasting room, which closed in 2014.

Sally Buffalo writes about wine, beer and spirits. Reach her at sallybuffalo@gmail.com or on Twitter @sallybuffalo.

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