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Big Wallula wine warehouse is about to get even bigger

Railex Wine Services is investing $10 million to expand its Wallula Wine warehouse to 760,000 square feet by spring 2017. Above, a Railex employee inspects cases of wine stored at the facility.
Railex Wine Services is investing $10 million to expand its Wallula Wine warehouse to 760,000 square feet by spring 2017. Above, a Railex employee inspects cases of wine stored at the facility. Tri-City Herald file

A giant wine warehouse at Wallula is about to get a whole lot bigger.

Railex Wine Services LLC announced Thursday that it is investing $10 million to expand its wine services distribution center in the Port of Walla Walla at Wallula.

The 260,000-square-foot addition will bring the total facility to 760,000 square feet of temperature- and humidity-controlled wine and distribution space.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the primary user of the warehouse and has committed to utilizing a “significant” portion of the expansion. Ste. Michelle has engaged Railex to manage the transport of its products throughout the U.S.

When complete in spring 2017, Railex will be in a position to expand services to the Northwest wine industry. The additional space will be able to handle storage, distribution, freight brokerage and consolidated shipment programs for all Northwest wineries to the rest of the country, shipping by truck, rail or intermodal carrier.

The addition includes 50,000 square feet of “special projects” space where Railex can accommodate requests to relabel or re-case shipments for consumers.

Railex Wine Services was founded in 2012 as a wine storage, distribution and logistics concern. It previously invested $20 million to build the original 500,000-square-foot phase, which has a capacity to store up to 5 million cases of wine. It is used chiefly by Ste. Michelle brands such as 14 Hands, Columbia Crest and Northstar.

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