HEALDSBURG, Calif., Aug. 28, 2014 – Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services, one of the largest custom crush operations in Northern California, celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of its new Healdsburg facility on Wednesday. Approximately 200 guests attended the event, including Healdsburg city and Chamber of Commerce officials, preeminent wine industry figures and the area’s top winemakers. Guests were guided on behind-the-scenes tours of the facility, and enjoyed Rack & Riddle sparkling wines, wood-fired pizza by Diavola Pizzeria and live music performed by The Delta Rockets.
In a speech to the large crowd of 150-plus people gathered underneath the white tent for the 2:30 p.m. ribbon cutting, Rack & Riddle co-owner Bruce Lundquist thanked the many people who helped make the new 67,000-square-foot winemaking facility a reality.
“We’ve had a fairly tumultuous four or five months moving down here from Hopland—it’s a little bit ironic we actually started our business partnership here in Healdsburg, started our first business operations in Hopland, and eight years later we find ourselves back in Healdsburg, and we’re happy to be back here,” said Lundquist.
In just nine months’ time over the past year, Rack & Riddle expanded its footprint to 120,000 square feet in Sonoma County via its Alexander Valley location at 4001 Hwy 128 in Geyserville, dedicated to crushing and fermenting, and the new Healdsburg facility, located a few blocks from the Healdsburg town square at 499 Moore Lane. The Healdsburg facility 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.
“To our neighbors and friends, you’ve probably been hearing about this project from the sidelines and now you’re seeing it first-hand, so we welcome you,” said Lundquist. “We welcome all of our clients who made the trip here today. We’re very thankful for our clients and their continued use of our services.”
Having grown from eight employees when founded in 2007 to more than 50 today, Rack & Riddle has seen its business increase 42 percent the past two years. Rack & Riddle found its niche as one of only a handful of custom crush facilities in the nation specializing in méthode champenoise sparkling wines—a labor-intensive process that involves secondary fermentation in the bottle.
Rack & Riddle offers full custom services for sparkling wines as well asstill red and white wines. Among its offerings are complete base-to-bottle, grape-to-bottle and “shiner” programs (pre-bottled wines available to purchase for application of customers’ private brand labels). Rack & Riddle unlocks the ability for wineries, businesses or individuals to create a private label wine, without the overhead and investment of owning a winery.
Rack & Riddle customers spoke of the benefits of utilizing the shiner and custom crush programs. “We wanted a high quality sparkling wine that would complement our portfolio of high-end Pinot Noirs and Pinotages,” said Amy Kemp, co-proprietor of Loma Prieta Winery. “After tasting through some of the Rack & Riddle samples, we decided to privately label a lovely Blanc de Noirs. We’re almost sold out of it, and have ordered a new Blanc de Noirs sparkling with a Pinot Meunier dosage, about which we’re very excited.”
Loma Prieta also recently sent Rack & Riddle 10 tons of Pinotage to crush and create a sparkling wine in the grape-to-bottle program. “We are eagerly anticipating what might be California’s very first sparkling made from 100 percent Pinotage fruit,” said Kemp. “Working with Rack & Riddle has been an absolute pleasure. They are extremely knowledgeable and provide outstanding customer service, which affords us the opportunity to provide a superior product at a very reasonable price point.”
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, please visit www.rackandriddle.com.