Posts Tagged ‘crushpad’

Get Crushed Here

May 28, 2010

For many aspiring winemakers, a custom crush facility like Vinify in Santa Rosa is a place where they can get their feet wet without getting in over their heads.

Vinify provides the structure — and all of the equipment — of a working winery without the overhead and other headaches involved in becoming an independent producer. The model is being repeated across California’s wine country where the dream of making wine permeates.

I’ve written in the past about Crushpad, another custom winemaking facility that started in a San Francisco warehouse and is now moving operations to Napa.

The dream of independence can also be strong, but it requires major investments in plant and property to become reality.

Just ask the owners of Urban Legend, a husband-and-wife team that opened a small winery near Oakland’s Jack London Square in April. They’re losing money on every bottle until they can boost production past a couple thousand cases.

Custom Vinification

Back at Vinify, Hillary and Justin Lattanzio have set up a production facility  in a row of warehouses just off 101 in Santa Rosa that more than 20 winemakers turn out a wide variety of wines under one roof. Production can run to hundreds of cases of each wine, depending on the winemaker’s whimsy, financial backing and access to high-quality grapes.

In today’s wine market, prices are down across the board, not just for finished wines, but also for the raw product — grapes. Even small producers, it seems, are finding supplies of really good grapes to help them make higher quality wines.

I was impressed by the overall quality of the wines produced at Vinify. They ranged from triple-digit priced, high-grade Napa cabernet to everday rose’ for less than $10. Most wines encountered at a Vinify tasting last weekend ran $30-$50.

Bevan Cellars

The most expensive wine came from Bevan Cellars, another husband and wife team (Russell Bevan and Victoria Decrescenzo) that migrated to Wine Country from Minnesota. Their $150 cabernet sauvignon (vintage 2007) is sourced from thehighly-regarded Showket Vineyard in Oakville, right off the Silverado Trail. It’s everything a Napa cab should be and has the high rankings from both Wine Spectator (96) Robert Parker (95+) to rank it alongside some of the great wines of the valley.

But it was Bevan’s sauvignon blanc (Maria’s Cuvee) that really made my mouth water. This white wine ($28) is unfiltered so it’s not crystal clear in the glass, but it tastes great. It’s refreshing with a citrus twist and a mouthful of other exotic flavors that keep piling on. There’s no residual sugar, so it’s the sublime fruit (from  Sonoma’s Kick Ranch) that makes it taste so good.

Marvelous Marsanne

I liked another white, a marsanne, from Olson Ogden, for different reasons. This marsanne ($35), made from a grape with origins in France’s Rhone Valley, is rich in texture and tastes of peaches within a nice oak framework. The grapes come from Napa’s Stagecoach Vineyard, from which Olson Ogden also makes a very good syrah ($52, 2007). I also admired the winery’s touch with pinot noir, especially the 2007 Sonoma Coast  bottling — a class act, starting from the rich red color through to the classic cherry fruit profile.

Bargain Bottles

At a lower price point, it would be hard to find fault with the 2006 Whitehawk Vineyard syrah made by Cinque Insieme. This $20 wine — sourced from fruit grown in Santa Barbara — is an inky-dark bargain with overtones of blackberries and pepper. By the way the name of the winery (a collaboration of five friends) means “five together” in Italian.

For hot-weather sipping, stock up on the Bjornstad Cellars 2008 rose’ at $7.50/bottle or $90 case. This bargain of a pink wine, made from pinot noir, is available online through the winery. Bjornstad also makes a fine lineup of of highly rated red pinot noirs and some chardonnays that are worth checking out, too.


Buyer’s Market Opens Up

March 4, 2010

The forecast calls for a broadening wave of bargains across wine country. While the slow general economic comeback holds demand down, prices are dropping left and right.

A trend like this forces producers, distributors and retailers to battle ever harder for buyer’s attention. They use lowball prices and special offers to try and make their cash registers spin.

Lately, I’m seeing deeper and more serious discounts.

Wine-selling websites like, online sales by retailers like K&L Wine  Merchants in San Francisco and affinity sites like bottlenotes trumpet values left and right. Wines from around the world often sell for less (at higher quality) than competitively priced California wines, so shopping around makes a lot of sense.

For consumers in a buying mood, pick a market and you’ll find a lot of great values across the full price spectrum, including some of the recent wines I’ve tasted that are listed below.

Global Sip Trip in SF

I recently attended the “Around the World in 80 Sips” event at Crushpad in San Francisco. The title implied a global sampling, but only 25 percent of the participating wineries were from California.

Here are my top picks from the tasting, in three special categories:

Top Value ($10-20)

These wines should cost more, but don’t.

The Sablet Cotes du Rhone Villages 2007 from Domaine du Grand Bourjassot is a fine example. There are a lot of  Rhone Valley values in the market today, including this red  blend (grenache and syrah) from the southern Rhone Valley that retails for $13.95. It’s fresh and tasty, with enough bite to stand up to red meats and cheeses. The wine is very approachable today and should hold at this level for a few more years.

Top Quality ($20-$50)

These wines show special qualities normally found in higher priced bottles.

I have been meaning to try the wines from Scholium Project for years and got my chance at the Around the World event where I tasted the 2007 Choephoroi, a $45 chardonnay from the Los Olivos vineyard in Suisun Valley. This isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s a full-throttle golden wine — tasting of the earth and minerals — given a Greek name, Choephoroi, that means libation bearers.

Click here to read an earlier blog about Suisun Valley wines.

A lot of thoughtful winemaking takes place at Scholium Project, housed at the Tenbrink Winery in Fairfield, where dozens of imaginative wines are made from numerous sources around wine country. The 2006 Tenbrink Babylon ($36) is a delicious blend of mostly petite sirah and syrah with some mourvedre and malvasia tossed in for good measure.

Over-the-Top ($50+)

These are wines of wonder that defy limits of any kind.

I liked all three wines that winemaker and winery founder Cathy Corison poured for me. The Corison vintage 2002 and 2006 estate cabernets ($70) are drinking great and the 2005 Kronos, a single vineyard wine made from gnarly old vines that produce only small amounts of fruit, is glorious. You can spend more, much more, for Napa cabernet, but why bother?

Winemaker Cathy Corison in her Napa vineyard

Cathy Corison tending her vines

All of Corison’s cabernets are aged in small French oak barrels. The Kronos ($98) is an elegant wine that balances the power of cabernet with a delicacy that makes the wine approachable while young yet capable of aging for years. Blackberry flavors mingle with black cherry and a touch of cassis to showcase a wine that just kept revealing more nuances the longer it stayed in the glass.

Corison has been making her own red wine in Napa since 1987. Before that, she honed her skills as winemaker for Chappellet Vineyard, Staglin Family Vineyard, York Creek Vineyards and Long Meadow Ranch.

Look South, America

I’m picky when it comes to malbec, a great red wine grape grown mostly in South America. I’ve tasted an ocean of these wines, but found most to be just “OK, but not great.” I found a lot to like in a nice little $10 bottle of Argentine malbec that I tasted the other day.

It’s the 2007 vintage from Navarro Correas and this fruit-forward malbec is lip-smacking good with gobs of red fruit and a nice touch of tannin. I enjoyed a glass with a spicy chicken burrito and then matched it the next night with a plate of pasta smothered in an Italian sausage, tomato and onion sauce.

Taking Petite Sirah Seriously

February 24, 2010

There’s a lot to like about petite sirah, a bold and sometimes brawny grape with roots in the south of France where it goes by the name durif, so maybe it’s time you tried a bottle the next time a red wine decision is needed.

I attended the annual petite sirah love fest sponsored by the advocacy group P.S. I Love You a few days ago at Rock Wall Wines in Alameda. There were 44 wineries pouring samples of their petite sirahs alongside plates of food prepped by 31 regional restaurants and caterers.

There was superb regional diversity, with greats wines coming from Napa along with Lodi and Mendocino and Lake counties.

Biale is Best

I was blown away by the across-the-board quality of the petite sirah poured by Robert Biale Winery. This small premium winery sits on the edge of Napa subdivision where it makes some of the finest petite sirahs in California, along with some world-class zinfandel, too.

Biale's Dave Pramuk and Al Perry at P.S. I Love You

Biale Vineyards' Dave Pramuk (left) and Al Perry

Two of the Biale wines really stood out. The 2007 Like Father, Like Son (a syrah/petite sirah blend from Napa with a splash of zin, $46) and The Royal Punisher ($36), a brooding all petite-sirah giant of a wine from Napa that epitomizes what this rough and tumble grape can become in the hands of talented Biale winemaker Al Perry.

Most of these wines are in short supply, so fans might want to check into the Biale wine club to insure access to limited bottlings. Call the winery at 707-257-755 for info.

Get in Line

Cecchetti Wine Company in Lake County has a bargain-priced winner with its Line 39 2007 petite sirah from the North Coast appellation. I would have never guessed this is a $10 wine. I’d have paid twice that and felt like I got a bargain in this deep red wine that tastes of chocolate and red cherries. A sample of the unreleased 2008 was even better!

A few notches higher on the flavor meter is the 2007 Pickett Road petite sirah ($35) from Rosenblum Cellars.  The taste of this jammy, concentrated red fruit bomb from Napa was addictive as was the nose of plums and chocolate that tumbled out of the glass.

Tune in to Jazz

Jazz Cellars poured its exquisite 2006 petite sirah from Eaglepoint Ranch ($38) in Mendocino and the double-gold winner from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition did not disappoint.

This is a big wine that would match up well with a slab of prime beef still sizzling from the grill. Despite 14.7 percent alcohol, the wine is balanced, with sufficient acid to keep the sweet fruit in check. Just a touch of vanilla from the oak barrel aging complements the red and black fruit flavors and the tight tannins of this wine.

Jazz wines are made at Crushpad, the San Francisco wine collective.

Honorable Mention

Two wines from Lodi showed what the fertile Delta region can produce when it comes to petite sirah.

Mettler Family Vineyards petite sirah ($22) is made from organic vineyards and the wine is a deep purple pleasure giver. The Michael David Petite Petit (a blend of 85 percent petite sirah and 15 percent petit verdot, a French varietal) is a $22 bottle of violet-scented blackberry fruit with a fine dusty edge.

In Pursuit of Perfect Pinot

The 8th annual Pinot Noir Summit is slated for Saturday (Feb. 27) at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center in San Rafael from noon to 8:30 p.m. More than 40 different wineries — mostly from California and Oregon — will be pouring. There will be blind tastings and workshops plus an awards ceremony where the top-rated wine will be revealed. Tickets run $75-$125.

Pig Out With Wine

Pigs are the main attraction, but there will also definitely be a wine component at  Cochon 555 in Napa this Saturday. Five chefs, five pigs and five winemakers will be featured at this event — the first of 10 cooking competitions in different cities across the country this year.

The challenge — create as many interesting dishes as possible from an entire 125-pound hog. Chefs from some of the region’s finest restaurants — Meadowood, French Laundry, Silverado Resort, Namu of San Francisco and Zazu Restaurant — will be pairing dishes with wines from Gamble Family Vineyards, Zacherle Wines, Hill Family Estate, Wind Gap Wines and Hirsch Vineyards.

Tickets run $100-$160. If you can’t make it to Silverado Resort for this event, the Cochon 555 tour will be in San Francisco June 6 with a different set of chefs, wineries and heritage hogs.

Wine Country Weekend

February 19, 2010

While grape vines lie dormant and rest up for the growth spurt ahead, it’s a great time to visit, taste and explore wine country before the large summer crowds are upon us.

The winter pace is slower. The roads are less crowded with tour buses and winery personnel have more time to spend with visitors. It’s also a time of great expectation, with the 2009 vintage resting in barrel and the 2010 vintage waiting to be born.

Here are some suggestions for the days ahead:

Napa Valley vineyard interspersed with wild mustard

Vineyard and Mustard, courtesy Napa Valley Mustard Festival

The Napa Valley Mustard Festival is a natural choice. The festival actually began in late January and runs through March 27 with a wide range of activities across the valley involving food, wine and art, including a Grand Dinner tonight (Feb. 19) at Brix in Yountville.

Sip and Stretch

Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena is taking a more body-centric approach to enticing visitors by sponsoring a “sip and stretch” event that combines wine, yoga and chocolate.

From 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 21), instructor Suzi Potts will lead enthusiasts through a tasting session that explores five different wines, Hatha yoga poses and gourmet chocolates. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at Beringer, the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley.

Yoga, Take Two

For a different take on yoga and wine, check out Ubuntu, a vegetarian restaurant and wine bar in downtown Napa. Downstairs, you’ve got top-rate food and wine. Upstairs, it’s a yoga studio with a series of daily classes.

It’s quite an unusual concept, but it works! The combination of great regional wines and exquisitely prepared and locally-sourced food  has earned Ubuntu one Michelin star.

Crab Season at Seghesio

Seghesio Family Winery will be serving up crab cioppino for guests in Healdsburg on Saturday (Feb. 20). The dinner tab is $60 and includes generous servings of the winery’s newest releases (pinot noir and zinfandel) plus some of Seghesio’s port-style wine with dessert and cigars. The 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. dinner slots are sold out, but there may still be some seats left for the 4 p.m. seating. Salud!

Napa vs. Sonoma, Again

They’re holding a “sibling rivalry” tasting at the Rutherford Grange in Napa on Sunday (Feb. 21). The theme of the tasting is Napa vs. Sonoma cabernet sauvignon and there will be 10 wines from each area in the competition. Everyone gets a vote for their favorite bottle. Tickets are only $10 for what should be a interesting event sponsored by Small Lots Big Wines.

Sipping Away by SF Bay

If you can’t get out of the city for a wine country adventure, don’t worry. Check out the second annual “Around the World in 80 Sips” event at Crushpad, the urban winemaking commune in San Francisco.

Walking past the commercial and industrial buildings that line Third Street, you’d never know that inside the warehouse at 2573 Third Street was a wine wonderland waiting to be explored.

On a normal day, the property is humming with activity from amateur and semi-professional winemakers who share the space and equipment in their bid to build a brand or just make a personal creative statement. To learn more, check out my recent blog about Crushpad, which has plans to move its SF operations to another custom-crush facility in Napa.

On Feb. 25, there were be 80 wines  from around the world open for tasting at Crushpad from 6-9 p.m., courtesy of Bottlenotes, an online wine retailer. Tickets are $60 in advance and $75 at the door.

Big Taste, Small Wineries

December 11, 2009

The gap between amateur and professional winemakers can sometimes be great, but at Crushpad in San Francisco they are narrowing the field with a clutch of small wineries producing premium wines that can compete with the big boys in terms of complexity and quality.

Crushpad is a commercial winemaking facility open to anyone who has the urge, and the cash, to make their own wines. The facility provides professional grade equipment and techniques, plus the assistance of professional winemakers, to enthusiasts who want to make the leap from consumer to creator.

Earlier this week, I tasted  43 red wines from 16 boutique wineries  — all members of the San Francisco Wine Association — at a holiday showcase at the Crushpad facilities in the Dogpatch neighborhood on Third Street.

From top to bottom, these wines are surprisingly good. The bad news is that most wines are produced in fairly limited amounts and there may be only a few dozen cases of each to go around.

It’s a good bet you’ve never heard of any of these wines before, due to small quantities of wine and limited distribution, but some are definitely worth seeking out, especially if you have a wine fancier on your holiday gift list who’d appreciate something different and in short demand.

John Tarabini

John Tarabini

John Tarabini, who bottles wine under the Damien Rae label, is president of the one-year-old SFWA. His 2007 Napa cabernet sauvignon was a standout wine ($63) with dark blackberry fruit and smooth tannins.

The top cabernet of the night was produced by Townley Wines in a reserve style. The very smooth 2007 Townley Shizzle ($75) is a blend of fruit from three Napa vineyards. This deep, dark wine showed a classic cabernet nose, seamless tannins and expressive fruit.

Townley also made a very good 2007 pinot noir from fruit grown on the La Encantada Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills.

My favorite wine of the tasting was a Rhone-style wine made from syrah grapes. This wine, called Homage, is from Aver Family Vineyards. Their wine is made from grapes grown on the 8.25-acre estate vineyard in southern Santa Clara County. The 2007 vintage  ($31.50) tasted of minerals and spice and was delicious!

I also enjoyed the petite sirah from Jazz Cellars, another Crushspad customer selling commercial wines. This lovely red  is from the 2006 vintage. It’s made from grapes grown in the Eaglepoint Ranch vineyard in Mendocino. I like the smoothness of this  mellow $35 bottle of  petite sirah, a grape which can be a rough and tumble customer in less experienced hands.

There were several producers making pinot noir with fruit from the Split Rock Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. The top version was a garnet-hued  2007 made by Seawind Wines . This ultra smooth $44 pinot has a creamy texture with nice fruit highlights that made me return for a second taste.

Just a shade lighter was another likable pinot noir. The 2007 from Bartz-Allen Winery also came from the Split Rock vineyard. This $40 bottle had cinnamon highlights to go with a nice fruity character that I really enjoyed.

Making Merlot Memorable

December 4, 2009

Bargain-priced merlot put Blackstone Winery on the map, but this Sonoma Valley institution is no one-trick pony when it comes to good wine.

The winery produces 1.4 million cases of merlot each year. The guy responsible for that ocean of red is Gary Sitton.

Blackstone California Merlot

Blackstone Merlot

“Merlot, in particular, is what Blackstone was founded upon.,” said Sitton, who started as head winemaker at Blackstone with the 2007 vintage. “The Blackstone merlot is the No. 1 selling merlot in the country, so my job was not to screw it up.

He didn’t.

This mellow red wine is a great buy at $10. I like it’s red cherry edge with just enough acidity to make it fit in well at the table with red meats and tomato-sauced dishes.

Sitton cut his teeth in the winemaking game at Ravenswood, a Sonoma County winery that, like Blackstone, is owned by Constellation Brands.

As a new winemaker, taking over a well-established brand, you really need to maintain the status quo while looking for ways to make it better.

“As a winemaker, however, you are always looking for ways to improve the product and yourself,” he explained. “If you stop doing that, you ultimately lose the edge that got you here in the first place.”

Sitton’s creativity shows itself most profoundly in the second tier or wines, Sonoma Reserve, made for customers with a bit more sophisticated taste.

Gary Sitton, Blackstone Winemaker

Gary Sitton

“We have this huge base of consumers that had nothing to buy up to before,” Sitton said. “Now, we have a line of wines that are more focused by appellation. These wines are a little more serious in structure and tannins and they appeal more to a higher-end wine consumer, but that still deliver the value proposition that Blackstone is built upon.”

One of the reserve wines is called Rubric, a $20 red blend that gives the winemaker a broader palate to work with.

The idea was to make a terrific cab-based blend using a handful of other varietals, like tannat and petite sirah, Sitton explained.

“For me to make a wine like Rubric, which compares favorably with $40-$60 bottles of wine and to be able to sell it for around $20,” said the winemaker. “I take pride in delivering that value.”

Other reserve wines in current release include a merlot, cabernet, another meritage blend and a chardonnay — all drawn from different vineyards across Sonoma County.

“We are not trying to make huge, overly extracted wines pandering to wine publications,” Sitton said. “I like good acid structure and balance. In keeping with that, I want to make wines that are varietally correct in keeping with that.”

He also values positive vegetal characteristics — like cedar and cigar box — which can enhance these red wines.

“I still want ample fruit character,” Sitton said. “And with the merlot and cab, that is definitely the goal — rich, ripe fruit but also that depth and complexity and a more nuanced character.”

Blackstone operates two wineries — in Kenwood and Monterey. Tasting rooms at both sites are open on a daily basis.

Holiday Happenings

Tis the season to shop and celebrate and many wineries are holding special Holiday events and open houses — all within an easy drive from the Bay Area.

Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda, which operates as a winery and as an incubator for winemaking start-ups, will  hold a holiday open house on Saturday (Dec. 5). Rock Wall will show off four new releases with a mx of other new wines from Blacksmith Cellars, Carica Wines, Ehrenberg Cellars, John Robert Eppler Wines, R&B Cellars and Virgo Cellars. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door.

Peju Winery in Napa will be holding a holiday open house on Friday (Dec. 4)  with complimentary tastings offered from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

About 20 Calistoga-area wineries will open their doors for a “Winter in the Wineries” three-day weekend starting Friday (Dec. 4). Tickets are $40, available through the Calistoga Visitors Center.

About a dozen wineries in the Rutherford section of Napa are celebrating in similar fashion with their own weekend passport event this Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for the two-day affair are $65. Sunday only tickets cost $50. For more info, check out the Rutherford Appellation website.

At Gundlach Bundschu in Sonoma on Saturday (Dec. 5) , a holiday open house features free tasting for visitors who bring an unwrapped toy to donate to local charities. For more details, check the Gunbun website.

Pelligrini Family Vineyards is hosting a holiday open house in Santa Rosa on Saturday (Dec. 5). Tasting is free at the winery.

The San Francisco Wine Association, a group of 20 small urban winemakers, will hold its annual holiday event on Thursday (Dec. 10) at Crushpad, the custom-crush facility in the city (2573 Third Street, San Francisco). Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online through the association’s website.

Rough and Ready Reds from Rockpile

June 19, 2009

There’s a rugged stretch of land rising hundreds of feet in the hills above Lake Sonoma called Rockpile where the tough terrain produces some of the most sensational zinfandel wines in California.

Mauritson Wines is one of the most successful wineries using Rockpile fruit to craft  incredible wine. The Sonoma County winery grows grapes on 40 acres in the Rockpile appellation.  Zinfandel rules the roost but they also farm cabernet sauvignon, syrah, petite sirah and malbec from these hillside vineyards.

Three Generations of Mauritsons - Glendene, Thom and Clay

Three Generations of Mauritsons - Glendene, Thom and Clay

The Mauritson family have been farmers for more than a century, but it’s only in the last decade that winemaking became part of their operation. Clay Mauritson, whose father, Thom, heads the farming operations, is the winemaker.

Production for each special lot of Mauritson zinfandel is limited to only a few hundred cases. Most goes to wine club members, but you can get a pretty good idea about just how good the small production wines are by sampling the 2007 Dry Creek Valley zinfandel ($27), which includes about 40 percent Rockpile fruit.

It’s a fruit forward wine with raspberry overtones and a nice broad finish that makes it a good choice for drinking right now or perhaps holding for a short while to let the minor tannic bite relax just a bit.

The Rockpile area — now its own appellation which is about 700-800 acres in size — had been five times bigger before the  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed Lake Sonoma. The lake covers what had been vineyards first planted in 1884 by some of the Mauritson forefathers.

Cemetery Vineyard Produces Heavenly Fruit

On a recent visit to the Mauritson tasting room — open since 2004 near the intersection of Dry Creek and Lytton Springs roads in Dry Creek Valley —  I  sampled  the current lineup of wines, including the 2006 Rockpile Cemetery Vineyard zinfandel ($39).

Mauritson Winery

Mauritson Winery

This is a big, dense, darkly colored wine that needs more time to develop. One taste showed it had the right touch of oak plus a nice vein of minerality and tannins that should push the wine to even higher levels over the next several years. Noted wine critic Robert Parker gave the 2005 vintage of Cemetery — named for the tombstone shaped rocks that ring the area —  a 90-point rating and  it wouldn’t surprise me if the 2006 version surpassed its sibling.

Summer Solstice Sipping

Get a head start on the official arrival of summer and help a good cause, too. The Napa Land Trust is holding a special tasting at the Bardessono resort in Yountville on Saturday (June 20) to recognize the Summer Solstice and promote a growing trend of solar-powered wineries. The Solarbration event runs 6-9 and features wines from Flora Springs, Larkmead Vineyards, Honig, LMR, Oakville Ranch, Peju, Saintsbury, Silverado, Trefethen and ZD. FYI, Bardessono opened in February and touts itself as the “greenest”  luxury resort  in the country. Tickets are $50.

Howell Mountain – Above the Fog Tasting

Taste a selection of wines from the Howell Mountain appellation of Napa at Charles Krug in St. Helena on Saturday (June 20). Thirty area wineries will pour samples alongside hors d’oeuvres at the Taste of Howell Mountain event.

Randy Dunn

Randy Dunn

There will also be  silent and live auctions of special bottles and wine-related packages like a do-it-yourself winemaking adventure with master winemaker Randy Dunn, special dinners, vertical and horizontal collections and overnight stays hosted by participating wineries. Proceeds benefit the Howell Mountain Elementary School. Tickets are $95.

Make Dad Glad at Crushpad

If there’s a wine-loving dad in the family, celebrate an early Father’s Day on Saturday (June 20) with a visit to Crushpad, the “make-it-yourself” winemaking facility in San Francisco. The open house event is free, and several wines from the 2007 and 2008 harvests will be available to sample, but you must register in advance. Crushpad provides winemaking equipment and storage facilities for individuals and groups interested in making their own wines from premium grapes trucked in from California’s top vineyards.