Anyone have any experience making, or even tasting, wines from the Crushpad "custom crush" facility? When I first read about this, it sounded like just a pricey gimmick for people with too much money, but not enough to go out and buy their own vineyard or winery.
I took a look at their website, and the list of vineyards from which they procure grapes is pretty darn impressive - Alder Springs, Brosseau, Wentzel, Kiona, Klipsun, To Kalon, Eaglepoint Ranch, Stolpman, Teldeschi ...
Several of the highly regarded Pinot Noirs that I buy on allocation are from vinters who started out at Crushpad. Loring, Dain, AP Vin, etc. While the quality of wine depends so much on the winemaker, don't think that there isn't great wine being made there.
I think exploring wine blending is really the next step in understanding the individual nuances of various terroirs and varietals. I went to a wine blending seminar given at a local wine shop--really cool to talk with the winemaker and learn about how he puts his blends together. I've looked into Crushpad, but thought it was just too expensive and too large of quantities. Something like this wine blending kit looks like a more reasonable start to me before I invest in the full Crushpad experience: http://wineshop.justgrapes.net/istar....
I haven't personally tasted anything produced from CrushPad, but I've talked to a few people who are currently making wines and I've talked to and received more details information from one of the CrushPad account managers (Dave).
My goal (along with a group of friends/investors) for this year is to make a small batch of CA syrah. Preferably, I would like to have one of my winemaker friends act as a "consultant" so a) I will have sound advice and b) quality vineyards will actually sell little ol' me grapes.
However, although Crushpad is somewhat pricey and isn't local enough for me, it's my second choice if my first plan does not work out. It's a great concept and you can truly be as active in the process as you choose. If you live in San Fran area, that's ideal; unfortunately, they have no plans to open a facility in the LA area.
They are opening a facility in Bordeaux, of all places, so the wine made there can be called Bordeaux.
I went to a wine tasting and ran into one of the winemakers. Seemed pretty knowledgeable. They buy the grapes and I think you're stuck with the grapes they buy. I think part of what you're paying for is their knowledge of wine making.
Well, I understand that it is a great experience and that they are building a facility in the Northwest and then in New York. From what they say the final per-bottle cost should be competitive ( about $ 15,00/20,00) with wines of comparable quality.
We really should find someone who's worked with them and can relay more precise info