In The Beginning...

In The Beginning...

By Michael Amador on Aug 11, 2018 at 04:37 PM in Wine Tasting in Santa Barbara
In The Beginning...

The idea for Crush started evolving over the past 5-6 years ago as I looked back over the constant stream of new winemakers through my many years managing the winelist of some of Santa Barbara's top restaurants.   It has been great seeing new wineries take off and on occasion turn into some of the best wineries in California, which I might then argue are some of the best in the world.   As a professional wine buyer I saw the difficulties that many of these small wineries had.  Many, but definitely not all, were making some very good wines, but most got stuck, as brokers and distributors usually won't bring someone on too small, particularly with the explosion of so many small producers over the last few years. 

So, if you don't have a broker, and you don't have a tasting room of your own, and you don't have the time or inclination to pound the pavement taking your wares from restaurant to restaurant, how does a burgeoning winemaker sell their wines?  That's where the idea for Crush came from...why don't I open a tasting room for smaller wineries that don't have their own tasting room...and are from California's central coast.   There is such great diversity in just Santa Barbara county from the cool coastal Santa Rita Hills to the warm, even hot, Happy Canyon, in just 30 miles.   That diversity allows for an amazing array of wines including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Grenache, Riesling,  and so much more.  

But I wanted to do more than offer the different varietals of Santa Barbara, I wanted also to show how different the same grapes smell and taste from regions just an hour or two away.  It is an absolutely wonderful thing tasting a pinot from Santa Rita Hills, one from Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo,  and then from Monterey county's Santa Lucia Highland.  Or a syrah from Santa Barbara's Ballard Canyon next to one from Paso Robles.  

 Come and explore the excitement of the central coast.

Michael