Claudio Ponte

Grading Begins

With a belch of black smoke, at 6am sharp on Monday March 28th, the bulldozer operator started his caterpillar bulldozer. The task for the day was to start grading our old Zinfandel vineyard. Planted in 1969, these old vines produce our Port and Holiday Zinfandel. Fortunately, the hotel fits in 2.5 acres and most of the vineyard will remain. In fact, the remaining vineyard (10 acres or so) will be grafted and retrained to increase its production to make up for the loss.

First, our dozer guy had to carefully move the topsoil out of the way. This fertile layer will be saved for later use in the gardens and to replace the old parking lot. Next, the bulldozer operator started contouring, following the grading stakes. The land slopes back to front so, to make the hotel level, he has to take dirt from the back and move it to the front. Water is used to compact the loose soil to prevent settling of the hotel in the future.

The parking lot will also be graded and later he will dig the basement and pond area.

We will be posting to this construction blog on a regular basis, to keep you updated and to give you an inside look on how a small boutique hotel is built. We will also take photos from the same spot so you’ll be able to see a “time lapse” progress of the construction. We hope you will follow along.