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      Les Bourgeois expands winery

      After four and a half years of planning and construction, the $2 million wine-making facility is just about ready for production.

      The owners of Les Bourgeois Winery and Bistro have built a 14,000-square-foot facility to expand their business. For the last 15 years, Les Bourgeois winemakers have been working in cramped quarters in their old building which was used to be Pete TMs Caf.

      The new facility will put the entire winemaking process in one location from processing the grapes to fermentation to bottling to barreling and storage.

      As you can see, this is a very open winery, Head Winemaker Cory Bomgaars said. In our existing winery, everything is exceptionally tight. Our work environment is challenging for our winemakers and our winery staff. By moving into this new facility, it is going to eliminate those challenges, therefore, we can focus on our wine quality.

      Les bourgeois is Missouri TMs third largest wine producing company after Hermann TMs Stone Hill Winery and the St. James winery. Right now, Les Bourgeois produces about 120,000 gallons of wine a year. The new facility could bring that number up to 300,000 gallons.

      There are more than 5,000 wineries in the United States. More than 4,000 of those are family owned and operated, but none of them are as unique as Les Bourgeois.

      The Bourgeois family decided to get into the wine business back in 1982 by growing their first crop of grapes.

      From there, it TMs just gone from step to the other, Les Bourgeois CEO Curtis Bourgeois said. We started making wine in 1986. We TMve just slowly progressed further and further. It TMs just been a great family experience.

      That family experience continues to grow every year.

      Once they move out of their old building into their new facility, winery staff members plan to expand their gift shop.

      The improvements will also bring more educational tours and wine tastings.

      The new facility is expected to be finished by the spring of next year. Les bourgeois administrators said their expansion project is a good showcase for the entire Missouri wine industry.