Rick Longoria, one of Santa Barbara County's pioneering winemakers, announced late last year that he has purchased the former Celite property on East Chestnut in Lompoc. After it is remodeled and expanded, Longoria Wines will reopen the facility in time for harvest 2013. The property, located at 415 E. Chestnut St., includes a single-family home that was used as a clubhouse but in recent years has fallen into disrepair.
In November, Lompoc's planning commission granted Longoria a conditional use permit for his project, which will be completed in two phases, according to published reports.
Longoria was the first winemaker to open a winery facility in Lompoc's Sobhani Industrial Park, a property better known as the Lompoc Wine Ghetto (lompocghetto.com). He and his wife, Diana, opened that production site, as well as their tasting room in Los Olivos, in 1998.
In 2011, the Longorias opened a second tasting room in a corner of their winery facility.
Since the Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) allows wineries to be open for tasting and sales at two locations — the bonded winery and a satellite site — Longoria Wines will keep both its Los Olivos and Lompoc Ghetto tasting rooms open until the Chestnut Street facility is finished and the bond transferred there, Diana Longoria said. At that point, the Lompoc tasting room will relocate from the Ghetto to the new winery facility.
"This means that there won't be any changes in where we are open for tasting and sales for quite a few months," she noted.