Gervasi Vineyard will be expanding with the addition of a 20,000 square feet project in two structures to be built in the southwest corner of the 55-acre estate. The construction of the diverse multiuse expansion is underway. The Spa, The Wine Cave, product warehouse and distribution facility, and Rickhouse are the four components that will be taking shape.
The Wine Cave and Tasting Room will allow for a traditional wine tasting experience that isn’t mixed with a restaurant experience. The Spa is the number one request Gervasi staff hears from hotel and local guests. The Spa will provide an additional benefit for guests to visit the property and experience exceptional amenities and services.
Norman Eckinger Inc., has been in the industry for over 50 years and was selected as the design/build contractor for the project. Norman Eckinger Inc. specializes in new construction and commercial remodeling.
“Wow! What a unique project this is. Our team has enjoyed every step in creating this with the Swaldo family, to enhance the experience of their guests,” said Norman Eckinger, President Norman Eckinger Inc. “I have only known the Swaldo’s for a short time, but it is clear to me why Gervasi has become a Northeast Ohio destination. “
From the concept as a winery in 2010, the large 55-acre estate has grown considerably over the past twelve years. Currently Gervasi houses a state-of-the-art winery offering 20+ varietals of wines made on-site. In addition, four distinct restaurants reside on the property: The Bistro, The Crush House Wine Bar & Eatery, The Still House, and The Piazza (seasonal outdoor patio). Two large event spaces were built to host high-end weddings, social functions, and corporate events, The Pavilion and The Villa Grande. The Marketplace offers a boutique shopping experience. Guests may stay overnight on property with the option of three lodging facilities, The Villas, The Casa and The Farmhouse.
“Gervasi Vineyard has a rich twelve-year history and it has always been our promise to our guests that we will continue to develop new endeavors and experiences that people will enjoy as much as our vineyard, wines, and spirits,” said Ted Swaldo, Founder GV Destinations. “By our true nature, we love the challenge of building new spaces and mastering processes that create a memorable experience for our guests and community.”
The Spa will feature a state-of-the-art design and equipment to provide Gervasi guests and local spa seekers a beautiful and tranquil experience along with exceptional spa services. The 5,000 sq. ft. facility will transcend guests to a high-end luxurious spa. Services will include a variety of massages, facials, body treatments, and manicure/pedicure services.
“The addition of the spa exemplifies Gervasi Vineyard as a true destination resort,” said Scott Swaldo, CEO & General Manager of GV Destinations. “Since our inception, we put our guests first, continue to listen to the demand and align our business accordingly. We are proud to partner with Chicago based Spa designer, Michele Pelafas who will fully design and outfit the Spa.”
“When Gervasi contacted us about designing their new spa, we were beyond excited,” says Michele Pelafas, Artistic Director & Principal Designer of Michele Pelafas, Inc. “We knew from the beginning that this was going to be a very special project. It meant that we were going to be creating an elevated spa design to fit their already successful destination experience.”
“As the project began to unfold, we understood that the Gervasi family had a strong brand presence and loved design. In some ways that made our job both easy and challenging at the same time. Coupled with our expertise in spa interiors, I knew it was going to be a success.”
“After visiting the winery and resort for the first time, I was completely inspired,” Michele continues. “And to confirm my excitement, on my flight back to Chicago, I had a chance conversation with a woman next to me. She knew of Gervasi from a personal experience there with her sister. She was thrilled to hear about the spa and couldn’t wait to go back. I had a sense at that moment how important this design needed to be.”
“Over the months of working together, this has been an incredibly rewarding experience. And that experience continues to unfold as construction is set to begin and the dream is about to be realized.”
“I am not the only one excited. All of my friends, family and staff from Chicago cannot wait to make the trip out to experience the Winery, Resort and Spa first hand. That tells you something. It truly is the ultimate destination. And now a spa? Sign me up!”
The Cave will consist of an underground 1,000 sq. ft. Tasting Room and adjoining 4,500 sq. ft. wine barrel cave for wine barrel aging. The intimate Tasting Room will be open select hours for traditional style wine tasting experiences and tours. Exclusive wine club access, Gervasi events, and private events will all be offered in The Cave. The wine barrel cave will house all of Gervasi Vineyard’s growing wine barrel aging and showcase unique educational opportunities during tours.
“We are not your typical winery where we have a designated “tasting room”. The Cave will give us the opportunity to showcase our award-winning portfolio along with educating our guests about the wine making process in a unique experience,” said Swaldo.
Product Warehouse and Distribution Facility
With Gervasi’s ever-growing product line, the addition of the product warehouse and distribution facility is a crucial component to the expansion project. The 8,300 sq. ft. building will provide a much larger centralized finished goods warehouse for Gervasi products. Gervasi is currently able to ship wine to ten states and the demand is growing daily. The warehouse will serve as a product distribution facility to support Gervasi’s growing shipping and distribution needs.
The fourth component of the multiuse expansion project will conclude with a Rickhouse. The 1,500 sq. ft. building will store barrels of bourbon/whiskey to support Gervasi’s growing bourbon barrel aging needs. Gervasi Spirits were first released in the spring of 2019 with two bourbons, a small batch gin, and a small batch vodka.
Gervasi Spirits now include four different bourbons, spiced rum, three liqueurs, rosé vodka, blood orange gin, small batch vodka, and small batch gin. The need has become a necessity to have a Rickhouse on property for the distillery team to manage the aging of the bourbon barrels.
Rickhouses have barrels stored vertically on racks, also known as ricks, usually stacked three high, and have plenty of room for air circulation around the sides and ends. Typically, these structures do not have artificial climate control to allow the liquid in the barrels to expand and contract which will drive the whiskey into the wood.
“It is hard to believe how our spirit collection has grown between 2019 and 2022. The demand is still there and growing daily by our guests,” said Swaldo. “It is our Gervasi promise to develop new endeavors and products that people will enjoy as much as our destination and wines.”
The project is scheduled to be complete by late Spring of 2023, with an opening date to be announced.