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Built for Almonds, a Legacy in Grain, a Future in Wine
A landmark in Paso Robles for over a century.
For several years in the 1920’s-30’s, Paso Robles was considered the Almond capital of the world. During that time the Blue Diamond Almond Growers Association built this building as a processing warehouse. It took 5 months to build the 11,250 square foot structure of reinforced concrete. Situated on 1.17 acres on Riverside Avenue, the building was in the perfect location between the town’s main road and the railroad tracks.
Poor farming techniques led to a decline in crop productivity in the 1930’s, so most Almond farmers moved north toward Sacramento to start over with new orchards and better irrigation. Consequently the facility did not have enough use as an nut processing warehouse, and was sold to the local Farmer’s Alliance Business Association to process the area’s new principal crop, wheat. The price agreed on for the sale in 1936 was a whopping $16,000! The building served as a grainery for the next 30 years and adopted the name it is most commonly known by: the Farmer’s Alliance Building.
After that, the facility fell into a long spell of disuse.
In 2010, Ray and Pam Derby purchased the building and spent 4 years restoring it utilizing the Department of the Interior’s adaptive reuse standards for historical buildings. Today it is a beautiful and functional winery, tasting room and production facility. A visit to the wine club lounge at the top of the tower reveals a new perspective on Paso Robles, with 360 degree views of the downtown area and surrounding hillsides from the city’s tallest building.