When the lights go down, in the City. And the sun shines on the bay!

When the lights go down in the city
And the sun shines on the bay
I want to be there in my city
Ooh, ooh

It never fails to impress me how lucky I am living here in San Francisco. I am pretty much an hour from 4 world class wine producing areas:

  • Sonoma
  • Napa
  • Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Livermore Valley

And I live in, what I think, is one of the smallest, friendlisest unique cities in the world.

To prove this point, last night I attended the first event hosted by the San Francisco Wine Association.   This new association is a group of 16 high end urban micro wineries, who produce small lots of ultra premium wines at a shared facility in San Francisco.  Each winemaker has thier own trademark style, with the focus being on New World wines of distinction.  Many of the winemakers have had recognition in some of the traditional wine media publications.

Because these are urban micro wineries, these brands do not have tasting rooms.  That is what makes an open house like this so special, because we get to taste small lot ultra premium wines side by side in a rare tasting event.  To have the ability to taste these wines in one place is truely special.

I found some truly memorable examples of Pinot Noir and Syrah from all over California, in a relaxed setting at Crushpad, where the wines are made.  Crushpad Crushpad is the custom crush facility in The City’s Dogpatch district, where commercial wineries share the winemaking facilities.  Additionally, lay winemakers like you and me can also participate int he process by buying in to a non-commerical group.  I am currently making a zinfandel and a cabernet blend in my efforts to better understand the chemical magic that occurs in the barrel.  These custom crush facilities have long been a secret in the wine industry, since the capital outlay for the winemaking equipment can be daunting for a new brand.  In recent years however, Crushpad has been a leader in opening up this community to the public, giving us a glimpse in to the secrets of winemaking and exposing us to new and unique brands.  By pooling resources, micro wineries are able to concentrate on souring the best fruit, and making the wine, and not worry about buying the equipment.

The San Francisco Wine Association members that I tasted and stood out for me, with the caveat that I was NOT taking notes due to my making very merry:

Because these brands do not have tasting rooms, you can only purchase the wines online via their websites directly, or through the SFWA site.

I encourage you to try them if you get the chance!


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5 Responses to “When the lights go down, in the City. And the sun shines on the bay!”

  1. Uzi Says:


    Very nice write-up. The event was very Merry indeed, no tasting notes here either but I am glad I ran into you and got a short lesson on ‘twittering’. Coulpe of additional items I would add as a benefit to winemakers such as myslef, the facilities and staff are world-class and the proximity to my local wine consuming community is a huge plus.



  2. winebratsf Says:

    Nice to see you again Uzi!

    I am looking forward to tasting your wines as well and giving you some more tips n tricks in the world wide wine web 😀

  3. Ward Kadel Says:

    Argh, so bummed that I missed the tasting! I should have just turned around on BART after my meeting flaked! Glad you had a great time and thanks for the great writeup, Thea!

  4. Bay Area wineries grow « For the love of wine Says:

    […] Across the bay, last Thursday, the San Francisco Wine Association inaugural tasting event was held at Crushpad in San Francisco.  Sixteen member wineries participated. The driving force behind SFWA is John and Sharol Tarabini of Damien Rae. A crowd of a couple hundred people was definitely enjoying the event along with me.  The event was described in a Wine and Vine article and by a local SF blogger, a Wine Brat by her own account, in a post titled when the lights go down in the city. […]

  5. Yargh, there is Treasure on that thar Island! « Lusciouslushes’s Blog Says:

    […] on that thar Island! Posted on December 22, 2008 by winebratsf As I mentioned in an earlier post on this blog, there is a boom in urban wine making.  This past weekend, I found some new gems in […]

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