High Point wine importer to shut down

Dec. 9—HIGH POINT — A South African wine maker that's had its U.S. headquarters in High Point since 2016 is closing its operations in the city.

Rickety Bridge Winery Inc. will cease the importing and distribution of its wines out of 518 N. Hamilton St. and is selling the property, according to Chief Financial Officer Diane Weaver.

Another business, Wine Down on Hamilton, which leased space in the building for an event venue and retail wine and beer shop, is closing at the end of the year, said owner Kimberly Cates.

The Rickety Bridge Winery website says the company "will formally hand over the importation and distribution of Rickety Bridge wines in North Carolina" to Durham-based Queen of Wines, effective Jan. 31.

Weaver declined to comment on the reason for the closure and the Rickety Bridge Winery headquarters in South Africa could not be reached for comment.

The company was founded in 1797 and has a vineyard on the western cape of South Africa where its wine is produced.

The Hamilton Street building is a former showroom that the company bought out of foreclosure and renovated into offices and distribution space for its wines, which it sold to restaurants and retail locations.

At the time, it was shipping about 8,500 bottles of its wine to the U.S. each quarter, and planned to expand into new markets around the Triad and other parts of North Carolina.

Wine Down on Hamilton opened in 2020 as a way to deal with the downturn in business brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. It sold Rickety Bridge wines and other brands directly to consumers at the Hamilton Street property, which was listed for sale this week for $1.2 million.