Monday, September 1, 2008

The crush

Friday I took the afternoon off from work to go visit a local winery. (Don't worry, I'd worked lots of extra hours the night before.) Periscope Cellars is located just a few blocks from my office, so I've always wanted to go give them a try. Friday, I finally did.

I talked my friend C-- into going, since she also works in Emeryville, and she brought along one of her friends and we met there at noon.

I fully expected that we'd go in, taste a few wines and be out again in 15 minutes. I really wasn't all that excited about going. But it turned out to be very cool.

Just by chance we were there for crushing day. They had just unloaded a bunch of grapes and were putting them through a juicing machine. Stems were flying all over the place.

We got to taste some of the fresh-crushed cabernet grape juice and it was amazing, despite the bits of stem. The best grape juice I've ever had! Seriously, it tasted very, very fresh, which it was. (Much better than what they served for the Lord's supper in baptist church!) Still it is way, way, way too sweet for normal drinking. And who knew that cabernet grapes were so small?

There were also vats filled with a different type grapes that had already been through the crusher and fermented a little. They were giving off the most heady aroma.

The guide was quite amiable. She told us lots of interesting things about the spot and the events they have there. Not only was this place once used as a submarine-repair facility, but it was also the place were season one of Top Chef was filmed. (Although the show claimed they were staying in a fancy San Francisco hotel, the chefs were often just sleeping on the floor there in Emeryville.) And now they use it as an art gallery and host a variety of interesting tasting events, such as a combination wine-tasting and yoga night. Don't worry, not hard balance poses! Instead of downward-facing dog, you can do downward-sitting couch potato.

One of the owners is also into packaging and she showed us some cool ideas they have for alternative packaging.

We ended-up staying almost 2 whole hours, and it was a hoot!


Anonymous said...

What? Emeryville isn't wine country! You must have been pretty drunk.

Ed said...

Wine country is a state of mind, not a place.

I forgot to mention that the room where they make wine is also used for other purposes. For instance they work with a charity that sends used medical equipment to doctors in poor countries. So if you find a speculum in your wine bottle, you'll know why!