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Kenwood winery wins $1 million loan for upgrades

  • 9/26/2012: D8:

    PC: Outside seating in the patio restaurant a VJB Vineyards and Cellars in Kenwood

VJB Vineyards & Cellars, a family-owned winery in Kenwood, received a $1 million Small Business Administration loan that finalized financing for a Tuscan-style tasting room and hospitality center.

The SBA loan has a fixed low interest rate and lower down payment than conventional financing, said Henry Belmonte, winery owner and president.

"Low-interest SBA loans help small businesses grow and create jobs," Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, said in a statement announcing the loan.

VJB's loan is part of an SBA program helping local businesses make significant expansions. Founded in 1999, VJB produces 5,000 cases of wine, primarily Italian varietals from California, sold exclusively at its tasting room and through a wine club.

The Belmonte family formerly operated a restaurant in downtown Santa Rosa called Caff?Portofino.


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