Local winery unveils Monterey County tasting room

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The CRU Vineyard has opened a new tasting room at 37500 Foothill Rd. In Soledad with stunning views. Photos provided by CRU Winery.

published on October 22, 2021 – 11:14
Written by Edward Smith

A Madera winery has found a second home in Monterey County.

The owners of CRU Winery opened a tasting room at 37500 Foothill Rd. In Soledad in August, not only showing their award-winning wines to a new market, but also bringing them closer to the source of their grapes.

CRU Winery CEO Nathan Stern has been looking to expand the brand to the Central Coast since taking office in 2019, according to Rebecca Gilbert, chief marketing officer.

They chose a tasting room that once belonged to Paraiso Vineyards and made the purchase in 2021 for an undisclosed amount. The Santa Lucia Highlands Tasting Room brings them closer to the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape varieties for which they are famous.

The interior of the CRU Winery Santa Lucia Highlands tasting room is visible in this photo. It opened in August.

The expansion comes at a time when wine enthusiasts are crying out to return to tasting rooms, Gilbert said.

During the pandemic, wineries relied on curb deliveries and pickup to survive when they couldn’t serve guests. Forbes reported that online wine sales increased about 234% last year.

Tasting rooms give wineries the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with customers. As demand for wine increased as people were stranded at home, it is difficult 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 Madeira. They are currently planning the vacation. The wines from their 2020 harvest are starting to come out. They are also planning a new Syrah and Grenache for 2022.

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