Upland's Old Santa Fe Depot New Home to Pacific Wine Merchants

Old Santa Fe Depot... new home of Pacific Wine Merchants

All aboarrrrrrrd!  Today we travel to downtown Upland to visit the historic railroad depot building, also known as "The Santa Fe Depot" and new home of Pacific Wine Merchants and Cigar Exchange  (PWM).  Founded in 1995, PMW is operated by longtime friends of the vine, Fred Paciocco, Managing Partner and Mark Heffernan, General Manager/Wine Buyer, both reside in Upland. 

PWM features over 600 different labels from all over the world, although premium California wines are offered in abundance including sparklers, reds, whites, rose' and desserts. "There is something here for all budgets with wines priced from $4.99 to several hundred dollars, including specialty releases and hard to finds.  Many bottles are available at 10.99.  Our selection is ever evolving and most unique.  I believe one of our strongest assets is our helpful and knowledgeable staff.  We know the wines, where they were made and more!  We pay attention to our customers and the details," said Fred.  PWM is located track side at 210 East 'A' Street (East of Euclid Avenue) near the Upland Metrolink Station (next to Boomer's Coffee Shop), just across the street from The Cooper Regional History Museum.

The one-story building which was built in 1937, served travelers on the San Bernardino to Los Angeles.  It includes many original features, including the old ticket counter and large freight doors, used when loading the outbound Santa Fe box cars with crates of prized Upland-grown lemons, oranges and grapefruits. The ticket counter is now part of the handsome and appealing Wine Bar/Tasting room. 

Perhaps most impressive and appreciated by wine lovers is the Wine Bar which offers 24 different vintages poured via the Enomatic wine server. "It is an Italian-designed and manufactured system, extremely state-of-the-art.  It provides a unique wine tasting experience for our customers.  It is relatively new to the states and the Inland Empire," said Mark.  The Enomatic is user-friendly and allows customers to try 'push button servings' (1 rose', 7 whites, 16 reds) currently being offered.  The nitrogen gas preservation system assures temperature control, freshness, protecting the wine's taste, aroma and body, thus preventing oxidation in the bottle. 

In addition to wines, adults may enjoy draft beers which are available by the glass for those who desire more than just a taste. "Light finger foods are also available if you would like with your wine. Our comfortable outdoor patio area is ideal to enjoy with family and friends as well," said Fred.  PWM offers daily wine tasting and special events including private meetings and socials.  Their next event features Levendi Estates of Napa Valley on Friday, August 10th.  Tickets will be $20. per person and will include a variety of appetizers.  For details please call 1-800-871-6077 or 909-946-6782.

The depot building and its interiors are once again beautiful.  It is one of the few Santa Fe surviving depots which has been restored for public use.  Of course, it resurrects many fond memories.  "I remember the station very well.  When I was a little girl we would go there and wait for family visitors to arrive," recalled Marilyn Anderson, Director of The Cooper Museum who has lived in Upland her entire life. "We recently toured a lady visitor through the depot who shared with us her memories of visiting her father who served as the telegraph operator.  She pointed out the spot where her father's large wood desk was positioned so that when seated he could see through large windows, both east and west sides of the track."

Fellow Uplanders Fred and Mark are joined by Andy Paciocco of Fullerton and Mark TeVault of Mission Viejo to assist visitors. "You could say we have come 'full circle' and returned to our roots here in downtown Upland. We spent nearly 4 years on Second Avenue and later we were located at Foothill and Euclid for over 7 years.  The depot building is a snug fit for our ever increasing inventory of premium wines," said Fred.  "We also offer the valley's largest selection of fine cigars which are stored in the largest walk-in humidor in the Inland Empire," added Mark.

PWM is open Mon - Wed 10am to 8pm, Thur - Sat 10am to 10pm, Sundays 11am to 5pm.

Off the Vine raises a glass to Fred and Mark, and The City of Upland, a community in which many generations have proudly planted and nurtured the roots of gracious living.  Special
"Thanks" to Marilyn Anderson, Director of The Cooper Regional History Museum in Upland for her contributions. The Cooper Regional History Museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history and culture of the communities of Upland, Ontario, Montclair, Mt. Baldy, and Rancho Cucamonga from 1880 to the present.  Its home is located in the former Ontario-Cucamonga Fruit Exchange, built in 1937. The O.K. Fruit Exchange dates back to 1897 when it was formed to coordinate the sales of citrus fruit from a dozen local packing houses.  For more information and hours please call 909.982-8010.

 

Gino Filippi can be reached at Ginoffvine@aol.com


Comments

I use to sit on second street on my bike and watch the Old Santa Fe steam and F units that pulled passenger cars in from Chicago stop at the old depot....Swichers would move freight cars down to the old Sunkist Orange Company buildings, in fact I and my friends witnessed a freight car derailing on the tracks right beside the Upland Depot....Santa Fe officals were afraid that if they did any thing wrong they could lose the depot as well as all of the oranges in the freight car.

I am real happy to see that Pacific Wines has stepped in and saved the old Depot....I know it was scheduled to be torn down sometime in the future....This new addition to the Upland Downtown landscape can only enhance the entire surrounding area....gdh, theghostpainter

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