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Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on July 27th, 2016, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 17, Issue 21 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 17, Issue 21

Spotlight on: Longoria Wines

Rick and Diana Longoria, owners

By DAVID MINSKY

Longoria Wines has been a first at a lot of things. It was one of the first wineries to move into Lompoc, one of the first in Los Olivos to have a tasting room, and one of the first to leave the Wine Ghetto in Lompoc.

Now, it's the first commercial business in Lompoc to have an electric car charging station for Tesla cars. Trendsetters? Perhaps. But the new addition to their tasting room only adds to Longoria's philosophy on sustainability.

"When we constructed our new winery here, I wanted to have that," co-owner Rick Longoria said. "It fits in with our company's philosophy of doing things sustainably and being eco-friendly. It was kind of an extension of it."


REFUEL AND RECHARGE
If you have a Tesla car, you can now recharge it and enjoy wine tasting at Longoria Winery in Lompoc.
PHOTO COURTESY LONGORIA WINERY

The winery recently closed down the Los Olivos tasting room and consolidated operations in the Lompoc tasting room that Rick and Diana Longoria have had since 2014. The Lompoc location already had all of the wiring in place for the charging station because when Longoria built the winery at this particular location and parking lot, a space was added for the charger, said his wife, Diana.

But it wasn't economically feasible to install the station at the time, Rick said, who added that stations cost around $5,000 to $6,000 per unit.

"For a small business like us, that's pretty prohibitive," Rick said.

Then Longoria started researching the costs and discovered that Tesla Motors offers to help pay for installation at certain businesses. Longoria made the proposal, which Tesla eventually accepted.

Rick said Tesla accepted the proposal because the charger sits halfway in between other charging locations in Goleta and Arroyo Grande along Highway 1.

"With access to ours as a midpoint, that was one of the features of our location that Tesla liked," Rick said.

The charger is a Tesla Destination Charger"and it's only good for Tesla cars"that adds 58 miles of range each hour. And that's the perfect amount of time to recharge while enjoying a tasting at the winery, which Diana hopes drivers will do when they come.

Anyone can use the charger, but they must ask to do so inside the winery. The charger has to be unlocked and turned on. The Longorias pay for the electricity.

It's just the latest addition to Tesla's network of charging stations. There are several along the Central Coast and in Northern Santa Barbara County, including in Los Alamos, Solvang, and Santa Maria.

With the addition of the charging station, the Longorias hope to encourage others to do the same. With more electric cars on the highways, the need for charging stations will only increase. The only regret Rick has with the charger is that he wishes it could be used with other electric cars.

"It's a good starting point," Rick said. "Tesla's really smart in doing that by making it easier for people to charge."

Highlights

• Help change the life of a child by volunteering to be a positive influence. On Aug. 9, CASA of Santa Barbara County is holding training for advocate volunteers at its location at 2601 Skyway Drive, suite A-3. Training courses are flexible, being offered one night per week or online. To schedule a one-on-one information session with the recruitment and outreach director, email Crystal at crystal@sbcasa.org or call 739-9102, Ext. 2594.

• It's hard to ignore the marketing power of YouTube. The Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting a YouTube marketing workshop from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, in the upstairs conference room of its headquarters located at 111 South I St. There, you'll get to learn about social media integration, as well as the benefits of YouTube and why it's one of the most powerful social media platforms for marketing. The workshop features consultant and author Mark Mikelat as a guest speaker. It's open to both chamber of commerce members and the general public. The workshop is free for members and $10 for non-members. Complimentary snacks and water will be provided. For more information, call 736-4567 or email membership@lompoc.com. Staff Writer David Minsky wrote this week's Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, email, or mail.