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New Commercial Bonded Wine Storage Facility to Open in Lake County


Date: 05/15/14

PRESS RELEASE

Lakeport, CA – “We saw a need and we are able to fill it,” says Clifford Ruzicka, co-owner of High Street Village in Lakeport, California.

For nearly five years, Ruzicka and his wife, Nancy, have been searching for just the right tenant to fill their 20,000 square foot market space. A tenant that would complement the current makeup of their retail shopping center.

As long-time local residents, the Ruzicka’s watched as Lake County emerged as a quality wine producer, which allowed more and more wineries to open their doors in the community. Using their years of economic development experience and know-how, the Ruzicka’s came up with the perfect use for that market space – a wine storage facility, with an attached tasting room.

“We are excited to provide a service to the forty plus Lake County wineries to store their finished wines locally, in a cool and safe environment. This is a service that is currently not being offered elsewhere in Lake County,” states Cliff Ruzicka, who also happens to be a civil engineer. “There is a need within the local wine industry. And we have the right space to fill it.”

Lake County Wine Cellars will provide this much needed business service for one of Lake County’s largest industries. Additionally, the project will offer a cooperative use Tasting Room for the winery clients that use the wine storage facility.

“This incubator style approach has worked well in other regions to help new-young upstart wineries have a retail location to hold tastings, wine club pick-up parties and other events for their customers on an as needed bases,” states Rick Gunier, Lake County Wine Cellars’ project marketing director.

“The project is a perfect match for our Center,” says Nancy Ruzicka, "We are confident that the Lake County Wine Cellar will enhance and complement the Thai Bistro restaurant as well as the Sicilian Steak House that currently are in the same shopping center."

The wine storage facility will be bonded, which requires strict control over the inventory and storage protocols. Currently the project has been given the stamp of approval by the Lakeport Economic Development Advisory Committee as well as the Lakeport City Manager. Award winning Lake County winemaker, Gregory Graham is looking forward to storing his wine there.

Keeping in line with their other commercial projects, the Ruzickas will award the remodeling contracts to local vendors. Currently on board to help with the modifications of the facility are Turner Insulation of Kelseyville and Refrigerated Technology of Middletown.

The finished storage facility will include round-the-clock interior and exterior video surveillance, controlled refrigeration, individualized secure storage areas for each winery customer and a state of the art client accessible online inventory status.

"The goal is to have this in operation by early 2015," said Cliff Ruzicka. “We are pleased to have Rick and Shannon Gunier helping us with the marketing of this worthwhile project. They have a long history of the growing Lake County Wine industry, both in grape growing and wine sales."

An open house on for the project will be held prior to harvest season, for prospective clients. For more information contact Rick Gunier at (707) 350-3000 or rick@northcoastwinegrapes.com.

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