Since 2016, Riggers Loft Wine Company has been a staple gathering place for residents of Richmond, CA. Not only does the tasting room serve locally-harvested wine and food pairings, but the space is also a stomping ground for weddings, corporate events, and holiday parties throughout the year.Located along Point Potrero, Riggers Loft is approximately a 10-minute drive from Common Cottage, our newest home in the Bay Area. We spoke to Vice President and Winemaker Barbara Brown about the history of Riggers Loft and what Common Cottage residents can expect to find in Point Richmond.
How long have you been in Point Richmond, and what do you love most about the neighborhood? How is it different from other parts of the Bay Area?
We discovered Riggers Loft in 2014 and in 2015 started the renovations to turn it into a working winery and tasting room. Our first harvest season was the fall of 2015 and the tasting room opened in March of 2016. The village of Point Richmond is just five minutes away and has a wonderful small-town feeling to it: mom & pop stores, antique shops, and restaurants. It is a close-knit community. What most people don’t know about Richmond is that it has some of the finest shorelines on San Francisco Bay, more than any other community on the bay, and the city has made so much of the shoreline accessible to the public.
Tell us about Riggers Loft. How did you decide to open shop in Point Richmond, and what was your idea/hope/vision for the business?
We learned about Riggers Loft through folks at the Port of Richmond…very happenstance. But when we saw the potential of the space and the incredible view, we realized we had found our new home. The space was perfect for wine production, but what we didn’t realize was how perfect the space was for a wine bar/tasting room as well as for events. We are booking events all the time: weddings, birthday parties, holiday parties, corporate events. The local folks love that they have a cool place to hang out and relax in, and we love that we get to share our incredible space, with its glorious view, with the community.
Riggers Loft is located within a historic building — what’s the story behind it, and how did you redesign the space for the Point Richmond community?
Riggers Loft indeed has a very cool and very important history. During World War II, it was used as the support facility for the building of the Victory and Liberty ships at the Kaiser Shipyard. Inside Riggers Loft, there were several different workshop areas, from a sheet metal shop, electrical shop, welding shop, paint shop to the “Riggers Loft,” all located inside the Riggers Loft building. There, sections of the ships were prefabricated, then lifted by the big whirley cranes into the dry docks, and finally welded into place on the ships. A truly awesome history! We think of Riggers Loft as history in the making as it now has a new life as a working winery and tasting room/wine bar — a haven for Point Richmond folks and the greater Richmond community.
As a collective wine bar, tasting room, and working winery and cidery, what wine/cider food pairing is your personal favorite? Which pairings would you recommend to roommates or first-timers?
Taste preference is totally subjective and very personal. What our favorite wine and/or wine pairing is, may be totally different from anyone else. That said, here are some that we love. Chef John Hemping does business inside the winery as “The Eating” and supplies delicious food to our customers. One of our favorite dishes is the Mission Tacos, which is juicy pulled pork with John’s special sauce and home-made pickled onions. It pairs beautifully with the R&B Cellars Napa Valley Zydeco Zinfandel. Another favorite pairing happens on Oyster Sunday. We like to pair either raw or grilled oysters with R&B’s white blend, The Improviser or Far West Cider’s Orchard Blend. Carica Wine’s Rosé works well too, especially with the grilled oysters.
Common Cottage — our most recent coliving home in Point Richmond — is a 10-minute drive away from Riggers Loft, and we imagine that it will be a go-to local spot for our members. What kind of events can Common members expect to find there?
So many! We have live music every Friday and Saturday evening, and often during the day on Saturday or Sunday. Every third Sunday is Oyster Sunday. Every first Thursday is Trivia Night. The last Sunday of the month is a fun Jazz & Blues Open Mic where many Point Richmond folks love to play. There are many different events happening all the time, including special tasting and food pairing events. We invite you to go to our calendar on our website. Also, sign up for the Riggers Loft newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’ll never miss a fun event.
What’s one word you would use to describe Point Richmond?
Quaint, because it has an old-world feel to it.
Lastly, what other local businesses and places in Point Richmond do you frequent or suggest to our members?
We love Up & Under for its pub fare and casual atmosphere. We also love the authentic Mexican food at El Sol Mexican Restaurant. Raymond’s Pizza is new, and we think it has some of the best pizza in the Bay Area. Kaleidoscope is a great coffee shop with excellent artisanal coffees and has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere to relax in. For shopping and browsing, Station One Farmhouse is a fun store with antiques and collectibles. Guillermina Art & Antiques is also a fun store for antique lovers. If you’re interested in learning more about Riggers Loft, visit their website. Visit their tasting room in Point Richmond today, and take a free tour of Common Cottage.