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Rack & Riddle Announces Facility Fully Operational


Date: 08/05/14

Grand opening and ribbon cutting set for Aug. 27

PRESS RELEASE

HEALDSBURG, Calif., August 5, 2014 - Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services, one of the largest custom crush and winemaking companies in the North Bay area, today announced its new Healdsburg facility is fully operational.

The 67,000-square-foot facility focuses on complete sparkling winemaking production, white wine fermentation and still wine bottling. A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony will take place August 27 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the new wine production facility, which has been undergoing improvements since Rack & Riddle's long-term lease of the building began in October. Rack & Riddle invites those in the wine industry or members of the media to RSVP to attend the grand opening by calling 707-433-8400. Tours of the facility will take place throughout the event.

"It has been quite an undertaking to entirely move our 1 million-case-per-year custom crush operation in nine months," said Bruce Lundquist, co-owner of Rack & Riddle. "By expanding our Sonoma County footprint to 120,000 square feet in two facilities in the heart of Healdsburg and Alexander Valley wine country, we can now offer clients more winemaking options: multiple bottling lines including a new 140-bottle-per-minute still wine line; nearly 2 million gallons of stainless steel storage and fermentation vessels; on-site, full service laboratories; and increased tirage storage."

Rack & Riddle has occupied its Alexander Valley location at 4001 Hwy 128 in Geyserville, dedicated to crushing and fermenting, since January 1. The Healdsburg facility, located a few blocks from the Healdsburg town square at 499 Moore Lane, focuses on all phases of sparkling winemaking and bottling, as well as still wine bottling, white wine fermentation and alternative wine packaging including pouching and kegging.

"Having already designed a state-of-the-art facility with winemakers in mind in 2007 in Hopland, this time around we were able to create an even superior design," said Rack & Riddle executive director of winemaking Penny Gadd-Coster. "We learned from our mistakes in Hopland and what we could do better, and implemented those changes in the Healdsburg facility, in terms of improved layout, ease of accommodating clients' special requests, keeping sparkling separate from still wines, and raising the bar by providing higher quality in all capacities of the business."

Healdsburg Mayor Jim Wood praised the project as a "great example" of building and planning strategies getting a major project up and running in a short amount of time. "The City of Healdsburg is excited to welcome Rack & Riddle's custom winemaking operations to our community," said Jim Wood, Healdsburg mayor. "It fills an important niche in the industry, giving smaller producers an opportunity to create world class wines right in town."

Rack & Riddle made a full transition out of its original Hopland location - where it was based for seven years - at the end of May, 2014. The departure made way for the Hopland building's new occupant, Duckhorn Wine Co., which is unaffiliated with Rack & Riddle.

Rebecca Faust, co-owner of Rack & Riddle, said a Sonoma County presence for Rack & Riddle has been a long-held goal. "We feel the centrally-located facilities, increased winemaking space, and also the ability to offer 'Healdsburg' for clients' back labels, are all attractive benefits we otherwise could not have provided from the Hopland location."

The Sonoma County expansion poises Rack & Riddle as one of the largest custom crush facilities specializing in sparkling wine in California. Rack & Riddle anticipates significant growth through increased bottling, stainless steel tank and tirage storage capacity. As a result of the Alexander Valley expansion, 15 new jobs were created at Rack & Riddle; additional new jobs will be created in coming months.

In the past two years, Rack & Riddle has seen business soar by 40 percent. Production in 2011 grew from 700,000 cases a year to 850,000 cases the following year. In 2013, the company produced more than 1 million cases of wine on behalf of well over 100 winemaking clients. Rack & Riddle was founded in 2007 with just eight employees and today has over 50 employees.

"This expansion into Healdsburg and Alexander Valley provides the space we need during an exciting time of unprecedented growth," said Faust. "We are excited to call Sonoma County our home and headquarters, and for ongoing partnerships with the local wineries, businesses and communities in the years to come."

About Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services

With a recent expansion to two new locations in Sonoma County, Rack & Riddle is proudly committed to providing pristine facilities where winemakers craft both still and sparkling wines. Rack & Riddle offers complete grape-to-bottle, base-to-bottle, and shiner programs for private labels, and houses nearly 2 million gallons of stainless steel storage and fermentation vessels. An exceptional winemaking team produces over 1 million cases of wine annually. For more information, visit www.rackandriddle.com.

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