By: Claudio Ponte

Dear Friends,

At the risk of jinxing the process, I’m reporting amazing progress on the hotel construction. The weather (which has been my greatest worry), has so far been perfect, and is expected to be nice for at least three more weeks. KFC (Keep Fingers Crossed!–Not the chicken place).

Since my last blog in early December, we have completed:

  • All interior concrete work. All corridors and flooring are ready to accept tile finishes (saltillo, and decorative tiles)
  • Sealed and tested all shower pans. They are ready for tile
  • Tested and inspected and got approvals for all plumbing, mechanical and fire sprinklers
  • Pond is full and windmill operating. The initial murkiness is gone and the pond is now clear. It is becoming biologically stable and there will soon be fish in it, when birds bring eggs. Water fowl have not discovered it yet
  • All wooden and wrought iron banisters. Both inside and outside. As soon as plastering is complete, we’ll install the pre-cast concrete pieces
  • All on site utilities: Water, drainage, sewer, fire alarm, telephone, internet, television, music, and security video. Until you see the amount of wiring required it’s hard to understand the complexity of these systems
  • Revised landscape design to respond to Riverside County comments… don’t get me started
  • The roof is 99% complete-waiting for plaster
  • Insulation is installed
  • Interior caulking and sealing
  • Black paper and wire lath installed and waiting for “Stucco” (plaster)
  • Door and windows are installed! They look phenomenal
  • Completed design and specified furniture for the suites

In the next 30 days we will:

  • Complete the framing for the bar (we did not like the prior results and made some adjustments)
  • Install the dumb waiter between the kitchen and the bar
  • Finish the drywall
  • Plaster the exterior
  • Start the interior tiles and start public areas flooring
  • Install interior stairs and start elevators
  • Stone work on facades, towers, etc
  • Parking lot lighting and trees
  • Outside patios
  • Parking lot curbs and gutters
  • Finish the path between the winery and the hotel, including the wrought iron arches and landscaping
  • Landscape the back of the pond
  • Parking lot base
  • Install the garden drainage system
  • Design and commission the tile signage for all public areas and guest rooms
  • We will electrify the hotel and start testing systems

Regarding personnel, we have hired a Sales manager and a Rooms manager, both of whom come with long experience and great reputation in the business. On January 15th we’ll open job opportunities for our current associates at the winery, to our wine club members, and to the market at large. We are looking for highly enthusiastic, ethical and experienced hospitality folks to join our terrific team.

Please make reservations for your stay (after April 16th) at