An interview with Paso Robles wine storage expert Matt Dusi
Matt Dusi is CFO and COO of Michael Dusi Logistics Warehouse, Inc., the largest wine storage facility in Paso Robles. They specialize in case goods storage and currently work with about 40-50 wineries. Dusi is a regional expert on Paso Robles wine storage.
What is the history behind your Paso Robles wine storage facility?
In 1996, my brother started his company, Michael Dusi Trucking, with one truck and started hauling grapes. Today he has 70 trucks. The storage warehouse began as an extension of his business in 2006. It quickly filled to capacity, so we began expanding and today we’re a 100,000 sq. ft. facility with an eye on continued growth.
What are the unique qualities of your storage facility?
At 100,000 sq. ft., we are the largest storage facility for wine in Paso Robles. Our warehouse is insulated and air-conditioned to maintain a temperature-controlled environment of about 60 degrees. We pull in night air and have overhead lights on sensors to make the system more energy efficient and cost-effective.
We also have security cameras that monitor activities throughout the facility and on the loading docks.
Why would a winery use a storage facility?
Demand: There’s a large demand for storage in the wine industry. Most wineries have limited available space to split up among storage, winemaking and their tasting rooms. That may not be a problem if they’re only selling a limited number of cases, but if they want to grow their brand, then they would need to either build-out an additional storage facility or ship it to another location.
Convenience: Customers with limited space in their tasting rooms will stop by and pick up as many cases as needed for the week. It’s a convenience that also helps them avoid paying freight for delivery.
Also, as some wineries have learned, it can be a long process getting your wine from grape to bottle to customer. It takes quite a bit of coordination: you need to line up the bottling truck a few months in advance, then you start lining up your glass, capsules, corks, and labels for which you need TTB approval. If your label doesn’t get approved, you still need to bottle your wine and ship it somewhere for storage while you wait out the regulatory process.
Coordination: We provide the space for wineries to consolidate their shipments for distribution to Napa and other parts of the country. It’s much more cost-effective and efficient to consolidate your wine here than there.
We coordinate with Michael Dusi Trucking to offer a full range of delivery and pickup options, from stainless steel food grade tankers to dry vans and refrigerated trailers all the way down to an F-450 and a pickup for small loads.
Service: Our interests are in line with the wineries; they want to see it sell, we want to see it sell, too. It comes in at a certain quality and we see to it that it leaves in the same condition.
How much space does each customer get?
Customers are provided their own specific storage area. The size of that space is determined by how many cases they need to store and can be expanded upon if needed. We have no minimum case requirements so we can provide storage for one case and up to 400,000+ for one of our biggest clients. We try to cover both ends of the spectrum.
Do you offer any additional services?
Yes, besides storage we offer our customers a full range of services including:
• Wine club packaging and shipping
• Shipping on demand service
• Finishing services: bottling, labeling, waxing
Our ideal scenario is almost like a virtual winery, where the winery is the processing facility that uses their space efficiently to make the wine. Then we’ll come pick it up, store it and ship it out to the final destination. That way, the winery can focus on the craft of winemaking and we can take care of the logistics.