The one-of-a-kind gondola at a California winery will not run again, Sterling Vineyards has announced. The 1972 Hall installation, which travels in a triangle alignment, was closed in 2020 due to Covid and subsequently damaged by a wildfire. In its place, Sterling and Doppelmayr USA will partner to construct a detachable eight place gondola running in a similar historic alignment. “Over the past twelve months, our team has been working diligently to safely assess and stabilize the property and fully scope this major project,” the company wrote. “We are excited to share that we are now moving into reconstructing the winery in preparation of a re-opening in Spring 2023.”
“After careful assessment, it was determined that our beloved and historic Aerial Tram must be replaced,” the statement continued. “The Aerial Tram has been, and will continue to be, central to our visitor experience, as well as an iconic feature of the winery. We anticipate a full year of hard work ahead of us, to bring this special property back to you safely and beautifully.”
The new lift will be as modern as the old one was quaint, becoming the first D-Line lift in California and featuring Omega V cabins from CWA. The one way journey will remain similar with three stations and drive/tensioning systems located at the valley station. There will of course still be a glass of wine waiting for each rider at the first angle station. “We welcome you to join us behind the scenes as we give you sneak peeks through photos and videos of the site during construction and watch Sterling Vineyards literally rise from the ashes, regaining its historic splendor, and bouncing back to once again be one of the most visited sites in the Napa Valley.”
A triangular D-Line! This will be a cool project to watch.
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Great wines and winery, cool to replace the old gal.
I should have said first D-Line in California assuming no ski areas build one this summer. Heavenly and Northstar’s new lifts will probably be Doppelmayr but unlikely D-Line. The big question is whether Mammoth finally replaces 1 and/or 16. Last I heard when they were deferred in 2020 Alterra also deferred the decision whether to go UNI-G or D-Line.
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How expensive is it to visit this winery? It seems crazy that a winery can afford a 3 station D line gondola.
It was $38 when I rode the old gondola. Sterling is part of a publicly-traded Australian company called Treasury Wine Estates. Revenue last year: $1.7 billion, roughly equivalent to Vail Resorts.
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Not sure which one produces more w(h)ine though.
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Looks like the old lift used the venerable Giovanola grip.