Paraduxx Winery secured Napa County’s blessings to boost wine production by 50 percent and visitation by 87 percent while avoiding the controversies sometimes associated with big growth requests.
The winery at 7257 Silverado Trail northeast of Yountville went before the county Planning Commission on Wednesday. It was founded by the founders of Duckhorn winery near St. Helena.
“This is a straightforward, clean application,” Commissioner Andrew Mazotti said.
Proposed winery visitor increases can be a sticky issue in Napa County, with concerns often voiced by residents about tourist-related traffic. That didn’t prove the case at the Paraduxx hearing.
Paraduxx asked to increase total annual visitation from 26,305 guests annually to 49,349. It arrived at this number by increasing tasting room visitation from 18,200 to 41,600 and decreasing marketing event guests from 8,105 to 7,749.
Commissioner Jeri Hansen asked about the revamp of the Paraduxx visitation program. Winery officials said they are reacting to industry-wide changes.
“Gone are the days of 25 people bellying up to a bar and just getting wine splashed in,” said consultant George Monteverdi on behalf of Paraduxx.
Visitors want to sit at a table with someone from the wine-making team, he said. They need to understand why Paraduxx is a bottle of wine worth investing in.
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“They want a little more special experience,” said Alex Ryan, CEO of Duckhorn Wine Co.
Paraduxx asked to boost annual production from 200,000 gallons to 300,000 gallons. The reason is that it has too many Napa County grapes to process at the Paraduxx and Duckhorn wineries.
“This isn’t window-dressing,” Monteverde said. “This isn’t us coming up with a big production number to justify greater visitation.”
Three million to four million pounds of Duckhorn grapes in some years have been trucked to other counties, he said. That makes no sense from a business or environmental standpoint.
Planning commissioners agreed.
“I think the more that we can take fruit that’s produced in Napa County and crush it and process it here, the better,” Commission Chair Dave Whitmer said.
Paraduxx will also be able to add 3,284 square feet to its hospitality building, construct a covered patio area and increase parking from 40 spaces to 59 spaces.
Commissioner Anne Cottrell expressed concern about the loss of 16 trees, including four oaks. Paraduxx officials said the oaks are small and were previously planted as landscaping. The lost trees will be replaced.