RICHLAND, Wash. - This is a busy time for wineries around the region as winemakers rush to crush their grapes and get their 2013 wines in the barrels. However, some of those wines are all made in one location that not many people know about.
It's in the old Budweiser building on Wellhouse Loop near Fred Meyer in Richland. While the beer signs are still outside, close to twenty smaller wineries are making, bottling and storing wine inside.
"I tell people the only secret we have is that we don't have a secret," said Wine Boss Charlie Hoppes. He's in charge of the two year old Wine Boss Production Building.
"There's various levels of service from barrel storage for some people, some use our equipment, other people, we're making their wine from start to finish," Hoppes said.
"Everybody, depending on the varietal and their style choices, go about doing things differently but we all seem to get along here pretty well in a fairly small space for as much wine and as many people are in here," said winemaker Alexander Gelles.
More than 30,000 cases of wine will be made here this year and work continues all year long.
"Whether it's topping barrels, there's blending, bottling... they do it all here," Gelles said.
"Provide a service for people starting up especially. It's a big capital investment if you don't have to do that, we can help. It works pretty well. You know, somebody gave me help to start up and I feel like its important for me to pass that along and help other people," said Hoppes.
Hoppes employs a small team year round and then winemakers like Alexander Gelles work out of the facility as well. The building is owned by Russ and Stacy Hamilton of Hamilton Cellars.