Urban Wineries

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

urban wineries, a 21st-century phenomenon that has introduced city-dwellers from London to hong kong to winemaking. Wine was long made in unglamorous warehouses on the outskirts of American cities and much of the wine produced in the Soviet era was finished in urban processing plants close to centres of consumption. But the first of this new era of self-consciously artisanal urban wineries was probably Edmunds St John, established in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1985, vinifying grapes grown in nearby California wine country. The Bay Area still has one of the greatest concentrations of the several hundred urban wineries located in North American cities, including New York. One of these, Crushpad, established in San Francisco in 2004, was the model for a new type of DIY urban winery, in which amateur ‘members’ could make their own wine—at a price. Crushpad, a sort of micro custom crush facility for the well-heeled, subsequently opened a branch in Bordeaux, and relocated to Sonoma. Both operations have been restructured and renamed.