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Thursday, May. 28, 2009

Wine storage warehouse opening at Kennewick's Vista Field

KENNEWICK -- A warehousing and transportation company that specializes in serving the wine industry is opening a temperature-controlled wine storage warehouse at Vista Field in Kennewick.

Vintners Logistics plans to open the licensed and bonded warehouse next week, said owner Robert Thompson.

The company started in 2007 and operates in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

"We've been very successful with continued growth," Thompson said, adding the warehouse will allow room for expansion. He declined to give its size.

The company also has dry goods storage in Kennewick and Pasco.

Aside from offering food-grade and temperature-controlled warehousing and trucking, the company also stores and transports supplies such as glass and barrels, he said.

Fidelitas, a winery on Red Mountain near Benton City, uses Vintners Logistics' services, said Charlie Hoppes, owner and winemaker.

"For a smaller company like us, you need people like that because you can't do it all yourself," he said. "It lets me focus on my forte, which is winemaking."

Thompson's company picks up much of the wine after bottling, then stores it, Hoppes said.

And the company has helped with barrel storage and wrapping high-end boutique products, he added.

Providing value-added services, such as repacking and label application, is another component of the business.

Vintners Logistics works with Columbia Industries to complete the services, Thompson said.

The company has four employees and could employ up to 30, mostly from Columbia Industries, as growth continues, Thompson said.

In the future, he'd also like to do e-commerce and wine club services for wineries, he said.

For more information, visit www.vintnerslogisticsllc.com.

* Ingrid Stegemoeller: 509-582-1537; istegemoeller@tricityherald.com; Business Beat blog at www.tricityherald.com