Allegro Winery in Brogue completed its two-year vineyard expansion project just in time to begin another expansion that will more than double the space of its production facility.

Owner Carl Helrich, who took over the now 36-year-old company in 2001, said he's just trying to "keep sane" with everything going on. The company has increased its wine production from 4,200 gallons per year to 25,000 gallons per year since Helrich became owner.

Allegro put vines that will create red wine into the ground on four acres of farmland last weekend using a GPS tracker system, Helrich said.

"No one in this area is doing what we're doing," he said. "We're planting a very dense vineyard similar to the infrastructure of a Napa Valley vineyard. I'm excited about the fruit we're going to pull."

The company also began construction on a 7,000-square-foot addition to its winery building. The two-story addition to the building, which is currently 6,000 square feet, will house a barrel storage room, warehouse space and a laboratory.

Barrels are currently stored near the tasting room, Helrich said, but he wanted a space with less temperature fluctuations and more room.

Allegro currently stores approximately 100 wine barrels at a time, but the expansion will allow the company to store closer to 150 barrels, he said. Each barrel contains enough wine for 300 bottles.

— Reach David Weissman at

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