Saturday, September 09, 2006

Customize Your Wine

How many times has the thought of making wine crossed your mind? A wine that is personalized to your unique palate? Well, now you can with a little help from the guys at Crushpad.

During my recent jaunt to San Francisco, I had the pleasure of touring Crushpad's state-of-the-art winemaking facility located in the Potrero Hill 'hood of SF. Opened in 2004, Crushpad offer small lot, custom wine making services to professional winemakers all the way down to the novice wine enthusiast who want to create ultra premium, luxury class wines.

Customers control the entire winemaking process from choosing the type of fruit used, how the fruit is processed, the fermentation, the press, cellaring, and bottling. Customers can be involved as much or as little as desired in the process. For those outside the Bay area, their Crushnet virtual winery system allows live webcam access while your custom wine is being made.

Each wine is made in one barrel lots, which is roughly 25 cases. Grape choices range from Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon from top wine growers in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Santa Barbara counties. In a given year, the facilities produces about 12,000 cases of wine--definitely a boutique operation.

During the visit, I was able to sample a few of the wines being made by other customers: the Pinot Noirs were simply stunning--silky and smooth new world style with ripe red strawberry and cherry notes followed by toasted vanilla, almond and spice. I only wish I had room for 25 cases of wine! Anyone up to share in making a barrel with me?

1890 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

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