In 1988, Wine Country Cases co-founders Dan Pina and Ignacio Delgadillo were employed at a small winery as production manager and cellar master respectively. The winery had been using wooden wine boxes made by a company which was becoming too large to service both their winery and other wineries that had gotten them started in the first place. Pina and Delgadillo saw a business opportunity:
"Basically the small wineries which got them started were now being told,'If you can't use this many, then we can't make the boxes.' So we figured all these customers that they were disregarding would be a place to start."
Dan and Ignacio rented a small facility in Calistoga where they setup up shop and began making boxes in their spare time. The partners built much of the equipment they started using, rebuilding old fruit packing machines from the 1950's to suit their needs. The two had been making small wooden bungs for wine barrels previously; however, learning their new trade and perfecting their technique took some time.
"The first order we made took us about two and a half months, now it takes about four days... it was a very slow process"
In 1996, Wine Country Cases moved from it's 2,000-square-foot space in Calistoga to it's present 10,000-square-foot facility in St. Helena.
"We were able to build a building with our production needs taken care of. We ended up with a facility that allows us to serve large and small clients alike. Now we generally won't refuse anyone: there's no order too small or two big."
Approximately 75 percent of Wine Country Cases' business is wine-related. "We make anything that a wine bottle will fit in." All production is done at their St. Helena facility , where they employ around 30 people. In addition to assembling the cases they decorate them with winery logo's by branding or silk screening the design into the soft wood, often adding double-exposed designs. Gift boxes, displays, and point of sale items are also designed and manufactured at the St. Helena facility.
Wine Country Cases supplies over 50 varieties of boxes for packaging wine and food to wineries and retailer all over the United States.
"We are fortunate to be able to make premium wood packaging that compliments all of the premium wines and food products that are produced around us."