Virtual Vineyards :: Crushpad, San Francisco

Want to make your own wine? Invest a few million in some rich soil in nearby Sonoma, Napa or Contra Costa County, plant your wine grapes, wait for them to mature, pick them at the height of ripeness, worry about birds and pests ruining your crop, crush them, put them in oak barrels, and wait a few years for the wine to mature.

Or spend $5,000 to $10,000 to make a minimum of one barrel a year at, a custom winery located in the heart of San Francisco where you are the winemaker. In fact, according to a story yesterday on, it’s “a winery where the grapes are real but the experience is as virtual as members want it to be with e-mail updates, live chat and Web cams” showing the crush.

While this fee is definitely more than the purple feet experience of crushing your own grapes in a vat a la the famous “I Love Lucy” episode, it’s far more cost-effective than owning your own winery. Plus, no matter where you live, you can make some good quality wine.

Crushpad provides grapes from California’s top vineyards, an industry-acclaimed winemaking team, and a state-of-the-art winery that’s focused solely on small lots. You can choose your level of involvement and they do the rest. So no matter where you live, you can now create your own “cult” wine.

What kind of wine can you make at Crushpad? Just about whatever you like, including:
* Pinot Noir
* Cabernet Sauvignon
* Merlot
* Syrah
* Zinfandel
* Other Reds
* Chardonnay
* Viognier
* Sauvignon Blanc
* Other Whites

One more thing, while a barrel doesn’t sound like a lot for your personal consumption, it goes a long way… One barrel is equal to 300 75-milliliter bottles.


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