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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crushpad Neighborhood Winemaking Project Probes the Terroir of City Streets

Posted By on Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 2:10 PM

click to enlarge Neighborhood get-together: Sorting grapes at Crushpad. - CRUSHPAD
  • Crushpad
  • Neighborhood get-together: Sorting grapes at Crushpad.
Interested in making your own vintage while meeting other wine enthusiasts who might be living right down the street? Last year, S.F. DIY winery Crushpad organized five groups in neighborhood winemaking projects, using Crushpad's Dogpatch facilities and grapes from over 50 California vineyards. This year, the neighborhood groups are expanding to nine: the Castro, Haight, Marina, Mission, Nob Hill, Potrero Hill, Russian Hill, SOMA, and a Super Group for those from other 'hoods. There's a tenth group of East Bay oenophiles, too.

Joining costs $26, which entitles you to one bottle of wine from your group's vintage, Crush Camps for sorting grapes and learning about winemaking, updates on your wine's progress, a barrel tasting midway through the aging process, and a spot at the release party. Members can purchase up to a dozen bottles of wine at the $26 price.

Wondering if the Castro vintage will turn out to be muscular, the Haight's smoky, SOMA's rough and oily? Crushpad's Noah Dorrance told SFoodie that last year's wines were indeed very diverse. Three groups made Pinot Noir, the rest Syrah. "Each group did two barrels -- one new, which tends to be more oaky, and one used barrel that's more neutral," Dorrance said. "Also, the grapes all came from different vineyards, and came in at different times -- some at the beginning of September, and others from vineyards only a couple of miles away over 30 days later. The groups had meetings where they could taste all each others' wines, and figure out the different influences and styles."

There's a Harvest kickoff party on Tuesday, August 18th, in Crushpad's warehouse (2573 Third St. at 23rd St.), from 6 to 8 p.m. Sign up for it online. There'll be Pinot for sale from last year's Marina, Potrero Hill, and Super Group. Salty, bright, scores 99 out of 100? Your tastebuds will tell you.

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Meredith Brody


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