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Caymus Vineyards Sues Cement Contractor Over Concrete New Production Facility

The plant is one of two Caymus wineries in Solano County. The Wagner family last year received the green light to build a 200,000-gallon winery on Suisun Valley Road
by Kerana Todorov
June 27, 2018

Caymus Vineyards has filed a lawsuit against a cement contractor over its concrete work at its new production facility in Cordelia in Solano County, according to court records.

Caymus alleges Throop Lightweight Fill Inc. used defective material to anchor 20 large-size stainless steel wine tanks at its new 5-million-gallon winery near Fairfield, according to the complaint and a company representative. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the contractor, Throop Lightweight Fill Inc., in excess of $278,575 – the cost of the repairs, according to the document.

Caymus alleged Throop Lightweight Fill Inc. used defective concrete mix to support 12 6,500-gallon and eight 52,000-gallong tanks, according to the complaint filed June 19 in Napa County Superior Court. Cellular concrete is a “relatively lightweight cement compound made by mixing cement, water, and a foaming agent,” according to the document.

“It was a debacle,” according to the lawsuit.

The repairs included demolishing and removing the cellular concrete, lifting the tanks with a crane before making the repairs and rewilding the tanks in place, according to the complaint which alleges breach of contract, breach of warranty and negligence.

Sections of the Cordelia facility have been open since 2017 while other buildings remain under construction, according to the county. The company expects the facility will be in full operation for the 2018 harvest, said Michael T. Carlson, vice president and general counsel at Wagner Family of Wine. The Wagner family owns Caymus.

Throop Lightweight Fill has listed addresses in Livermore and Pasadena. A company representative, George Throop, said he was not aware of the lawsuit.

The Cordelia facility is expected to bottle wine from the family’s other wineries, moving jobs from Napa to Solano County, according to various reports.

The plant is one of two Caymus wineries in Solano County. The Wagner family last year received the green light to build a 200,000-gallon winery on Suisun Valley Road.

Caymus has tangled with Napa County officials for years over its winery in Rutherford. In 2013, Caymus paid $1 million to Napa County to settle a number of issues with its Rutherford facility. The allegations included exceeding wine production limits and building code violations, according to the complaint filed in 2013. Napa County alleged the winery exceeded production by 547,000 gallons to more than 2 million gallons a year, according to the 2013 lawsuit.

“The wine production limit for Caymus in calendar year 2018 is 110,000 gallons,” said David Morrison, Napa County’s director of planning, building, and environmental services. In calendar year 2019, the limit will be 660,000 gallons, he also said in an email.

Carlson said the current production at Rutherford is within its use-permit limitations – 110,000 gallons per year.

Napa County officials in 2016 approved a new use permit and a development agreement for the Rutherford winery. The plans include demolishing and remodeling buildings in Rutherford.

Temporary certificates of occupancy for offices and older production buildings which have to be either remodeled or demolished at the Conn Creek winery, were extended in June through Dec. 31 in part because of Napa’s permitting process and because of the construction delays at the Cordelia plant, according to court records and the parties involved.

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Photos of the Codelia Winery under construction

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