I’ve heard of rumor of these and have seen pictures but I’ve never been inside one. Especially while it’s under construction. Walla Walla, WA is quickly becoming overran with wineries. They are absolutely everywhere!! The wineries like to show off how much money their rotten grape juice brings in by building fancy over the top tasting rooms among other things. These wine storage tunnels have to be the biggest Look at Me build I’ve seen. These tunnels are the first to be built in Walla Walla. They not done yet and I have no idea when it will be but they are pretty amazing.
I heard from a few guys at work that these tunnels were being built. They said it was bad ass and I need to go check them out. So when the job came out to install underground electrical lines to provide power for these tunnels… I had to cruise up and give the boys a hand. But first I had to go and check these tunnels out.
The company digging these tunnels os out of California. That’s all they do is dig tunnels for wine storage. I guess these tunnels are pretty popular down there in the Napa Valley area. Figgins is the name of the winery. They have an office of some sort just down the road from our shop. A tiny little place. I guess they have been saving up their money to blow it on some fancy project. Lol.
There are 3 different Itunnel entrances that join together. It’s a bit of a maze and I don’t think they are even close to being done. There are many tunnels that branch off for about 20 feet then stop. I’m not sure if this is the design or if they are going to dig further.
The guys were telling me that they use an auger attached to an excavator to drill into the dirt. Then use an excavator to scoop out the dirt and fill a dump truck to haul it away. I remember a giant mound of dirt on the side of the winding road headed into the site.
Little by little they work their way into the hillside. The walls are lined with rebar and then a 1 inch layer of concrete is sprayed over the top. Once the concrete cures they dig further. I imagine they alternate between the different tunnels in order to keep the project moving along.
I was able to walk in and wonder around a little bit and have a look around. There were a few guys outside working and just few more inside. No heavy equipment running so it was pretty quiet in the tunnels. I couldn’t imagine how loud things would get with excavators and other equipment running inside these tunnels. Ear plugs please!!
After my self tour I helped the guys lay out 4” conduit in the ditch and glue it together. It was only about 500 ft so it didn’t take too long.
Right through the middle of the grape vineyard.
The customer dug the ditch… if that’s where they want it… that’s where we will put it
I am really curious to know how long these tunnels are going to be. I imagine the entrance to them is going to be quite the eye catcher too. People will walk up and the urge to venture into the tunnels will take them over. Lol
I’m gonna give them a few weeks then stop by and check on the progress. You know, ”I’m just checking voltage on this transformer…” :wink:wink. I find projects like this so fascinating. I think the end result is going to be a site to see here in Walla Walla, WA