After years in the trenches as a Central Coast winemaker and winery general manager, Fintan “Fin” du Fresne grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of local specialized service options—and now he is doing something about it.
This week, du Fresne is launching Winery Mechanical Systems, the Central Coast’s first provider of comprehensive, winery-specific repair and maintenance solutions. Winery Mechanical Systems is also the first local company to act as a vendor-trained service agent for leading winery equipment manufacturers. Concurrently, du Fresne will remain in his longtime position as Winemaker and General Manager for Chamisal Vineyards and Malene Wines.
“I just see a real need for a service like this,” he said. “I have personally lived through the challenge of keeping a winery running smoothly and cost effectively. I believe that Winery Mechanical Systems can be a game changer for Central Coast wineries.”
According to du Fresne, wineries are faced with unique challenges when it comes to maintenance and repair. The core equipment is specialized, and the way wineries operate—in terms of plumbing, electrical, refrigeration and other systems—is intricate and complex.
“Working with contractors who don’t understand the ins and outs of wineries is costly and unproductive,” he said. “And when it comes to repairing specialized equipment, you often have to hire a technician to come down from Napa, and you pay extra for their travel time.”
Wine Mechanical Systems aims to solve these issues by operating as a local provider with specialized winery service expertise. The company’s operations include two staff members as well as select sub-contractor partners chosen for their winery know how. Winery Mechanical Systems’ managing technician Daniel Krichevsky has more than a decade of winemaking and winery facilities maintenance experience on the Central Coast.
“When we go into your winery, we know what to do, and we can do it with minimal disruption and downtime,” du Fresne said.
Winery Mechanical Systems is also partnering with key winery equipment manufacturers to operate as an authorized service agent.
For example, Krichevsky has already trained with Scott Labs in Sonoma, enabling Winery Mechanical Systems to become the Central Coast’s only vendor-trained service agent for working on leading equipment such as Willmes presses and Armbruster grape destemmers, sorters and movement equipment.
“These partnerships will allow us to stay on the cutting edge of winery service needs—and to keep our clients running smoothly during harvest and throughout the year,” du Fresne said.