Point Molate

Point Molate was developed by the California Wine Association in 1908, as a central winery for processing grapes from all over the state. The Winehaven Winery, as it was called, became the largest winery in the United States, producing 12 million gallons of wine and port per year at its peak, before being shut down during prohibition (though it continued to make sacramental wine until 1937). In 1942, the Navy purchased the 400 acre property for use as a fuel supply depot. Most of the fuel was kept in 20 underground concrete tanks, with a capacity of over 40 million gallons, built on the hillside above the winery. The facility was officially closed in 1998, and the City of Richmond is in the process of taking it over, once clean-up issues are resolved. 400 people worked at the winery, and the old housing was used and maintained by the Navy. The city would like to build a residential area as part of the redevelopment of the site, however, Chevron, seeking to limit their liability from possible toxic emissions from the adjacent refinery, is resistant. The future use of the old fortress-like main winery building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is still being debated. The Navy's administration building next door currently serves as offices for the IT Corporation and Tetra Tech, both working on the clean-up of the site.