Jessie's Grove Winery and The Dancing Fox Winery and Bakery will move forward with a new tasting room called Olde Ice House Cellars in Downtown at Locust and Main streets, which will also include offerings from a variety of winemakers in Lodi.
The Lodi City Council unanimously approved changing a contract the city has with Jessie's Grove, allowing the tasting room project to move forward.
In 2006, the council allowed Jessie's Grove to deliver trucked liquid waste to the White Slough wastewater plant in exchange for the winery's help in forming cellardoor, a Downtown tasting room.
At the meeting Wednesday, the council needed to approve moving the boundaries for Downtown specified in the contract to include the new winery on Main Street, in order for the contract to still be valid.
The tasting room is scheduled to open in April. Crews were working Wednesday afternoon at the historic Union Ice House. The building was used for three or four decades to sell ice to Lodi residents, and the crane used to haul the 600-pound blocks is still in the building, said Chris Schibler, who is overseeing the construction.
The owners plan to keep the crane visible in the barrel storage room. In the tasting room, they also plan to keep the original brick and frame of the windows.
"We want to keep everything as rustic as possible," Schibler said.
The 14,000-square-feet building includes a 850-square-feet tasting room that will also feature smaller wineries in the area. The Dancing Fox will start producing its wine in the building, and there will be storage space for barrels and bottles. In a letter to the council, Jessie's Grove owner Greg Burns said the new winery will hopefully help bring life to Main Street.
"The re-vitalization of the historic Union Ice House into the 'Olde Ice House Cellars' is in tune with the expansion of Downtown synergy and draw of the community focus," he wrote.