The Fasi Estate Winery in Friant has sold to a Fresno businessman. Fasi Estate Facebok photo
Written by Ben Hensley
Kerr Companies has acquired Fasi Estate Winery in Friant, which will soon transform into Dorval Winery with a focus on entertainment, food and, of course, Central Valley wine.
The transaction, finalized Dec. 7, is the first soiree into the food and entertainment business for Fresno-based Kerr Companies. Founded by Andrew Kerr in 2008, Kerr Companies specializes in wealth management, insurance, payroll retirement planning and tax consulting.
Adela Padron, chief operations officer with The Kerr Companies, said Kerr hopes his experience in wealth management and Padron’s background in the entertainment industry will bring the winery to a new level of recognition in the Valley.
Padron has experience as a local club owner, previously operating Club Habanos at Herndon and Palm avenues in Fresno.
“Andrew’s very familiar with farming, so we’re pairing up our expertises and going to take this winery to a whole new level,” Padron said.
Despite having purchased the vineyard just this week, Padron said that changes to the winery will be coming soon.
They will be noticeable, with modernization efforts focusing on preserving the legacy of former owner Ralph Fasi while renovating to fit a more upscale, modern atmosphere.
“We’re not the kind of people that move slow,” she said. “We’re going to be really taking this winery – the quality of our product, from farming to entertainment – to a whole different level,” Padron said. “We’re certainly honoring the tradition and the origin of Ralph Fasi. What he’s established here is really magical.”
Padron said the Kerr’s hope the winery will help revitalize the winery scene, still rebounding from the pandemic.
“Before Covid, it [the wine scene] was hopping and you could really enjoy the Madera Wine Trail and there were a lot of participating wineries,” she said.
In an effort to attract more guests, Padron said emphasis will be placed on entertainment, featuring regular music series’ as well as guest performers, live executive chefs and performing artists.
“We’re only a 15-minute drive from River Park,” Padron said. “It almost feels like you’re not in Fresno at all, but we’re really just 15 minutes away.”
The Dorval Winery will be hosting a soft opening this Saturday, Dec. 9 from noon to 4 p.m., featuring live music, complimentary charcuterie tables and wine sales.
Padron hopes guests will help drive the direction of the evolution of the winery.
“Specifically, we’re inviting our friends to come give us some feedback,” she said. “Tell us what you think about the facility. Tell us what you want to see. Tell us what your local winery can do for you in terms of providing the right kind of entertainment and space for you to take a break from your regular life.”