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North Coast Custom Crush Sparkles

rack&riddleRack and Riddle has equipment and expertise for would-be sparkling wine producers. A group of North Coast wine making veterans teamed to create a massive 120,000 square foot custom crush facility in southern Mendocino County located at 14100 Mountain House Road, Hopland, California. It offers a rare, if not a unique service to the industry: sparkling wine production. Rack and Riddle Custom Wine Services was founded in 2007 by longtime colleagues Bruce Lundquist and Rebecca Faust. Lundquist is a former general manager for J Vineyards & Winery in Healdsburg, and Faust worked for Piper Sonoma and Healdsburg’s Lambert Bridge Winery as CEO. Former J winemaker Oded Shakked joined Rack and Riddle as director of winemaking. Rack and Riddle just completed a 50,000 square foot addition including a 17,000 square foot canopied crush pad, bringing its total size to 120,000 square feet, and is equiped with about a million gallons of stainless steel tanks, with the equipment and capacity to produce nearly 500,000 cases of wine annually. Because sparkling wine is so labor-intensive, and time consuming, it requires special equipment and expertise. Less than 10% of U. S. wineries produce sparkling wines. Rack and Riddle has opened the door for small producers interested in expanding their lines to include sparkling wine. Rack and Riddle now has 25 workers on staff, including winemaker Penny Gadd-Coster, cellar master Tom Meeker and production manager Lisa kashin, all J Vineyards alumni. Its full wine lab is headed by enologist Laurie Adams. The new riddling machines has 8 cages each. Each cage can hold 576 sparkling wine bottles. So, each riddling machine will be able to riddle 4,608 bottles at once. At approximately 4 pounds each, that is 18,432 pounds per machine. The ultimate payload, is a quarter-million cases of sparkling wine every year.
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