The CRU Winery has opened a new tasting room at 37500 Foothill Rd. in Soledad with sweeping views. Photos contributed by CRU Winery.
Written by Edward Smith
A Madera winery has found a second home in Monterey County.
The owners of CRU Winery debuted a tasting room at 37500 Foothill Rd. in Soledad in August, not only exposing their award-winning wines to a new market but also getting them closer to the source of their grapes.
CRU Winery CEO Nathan Stern had been looking to expand the brand to the Central Coast since coming into the role in 2019, according to Rebecca Gilbert, marketing director.
They decided on a tasting room once owned by Paraiso Vineyards and made the purchase in 2021 for an undisclosed amount. The tasting room in the Santa Lucia Highlands brings them closer to the chardonnay and pinot noir grapes they are famous for.
The expansion comes at a time wine lovers have been clamoring to get back to tasting rooms, Gilbert said.
During the pandemic, wineries relied on deliveries and curbside pickup to make it through while they couldn’t serve guests. Forbes reported that online sales of wines increased around 234% last year.
Tasting rooms give wineries the chance to spend one-on-one time with customers. While demand for wine grew while people were stuck at home, it’s hard to measure what was lost during the closures, Gilbert said.
The Central Coast tasting room joins the existing CRU Winery Central Valley tasting room at 20146 Rd. 21 in Madera. They are currently planning for the holidays. The wines from their 2020 harvest are beginning to be released. They are also planning a new syrah and grenache for 2022.