San Francisco Is The New Winery Epicenter
16 urban wineries have joined to form the San Francisco Wine Association (SFWA). The President of the
SFWA, John Tarbini, said, “California’s newest wine country is San Francisco.” The urban vintners are more
focused on investing in the best grapes, modern equipment and outstanding winemaking than spending lavish
sums on estate guest centers and tasting rooms. Grapes are sourced from northern California wine regions
and although quantities produced are small, quality can be quite high.
SFWA charter members include Aver Family vineyards, Canine Wines, Connor Brennan Cellars, Damian Rae
Winery, Due Cani Cellars, Flying Wine Cellars, Guy Riedel Wines, Jazz Cellars, Joelle Wine Company, Mark
Moretti Winery, Milliarium Cellars, Pug Wine, Ricardus Corculum, Seawind Wines, Think Tank Wine Company
and Townley Wines. A public launch reception will be held on December 11th in San Francisco. For more
information, visit www.sfwineassociation.com.
Crushpad is a large custom winemaking facility in San Francisco that has launched over 100 commercial
brands. Dain Wines is probably the most recognized Pinot Noir brand but others include Cellar Rat, Conner
Brennan Cellars, Joelle and Nicholls. Recently I received communication from two new Cushpad based Pinot
Noir producers. Calicaro’s inaugural vintage is 2008 and includes 50 cases of Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma
Coast Pinot Noir and 25 cases of Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. Alder Springs
Vineyard in Mendocino and La Encantada Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills are scheduled for future vintages.
(www.calicaro.com). A small winemaking group in Austin, Texas is making wine at Crushpad in San Francisco
under the rockroom label. Before 2005, they had brought fruit to Texas to make wine, but it made more sense
to do the winemaking closer to the sources of grapes. The latest release is a 2007 rockroom Bohemian
Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (www.rockroom.com).