New custom facility for small-lot, sparkling wines

Napa Calif.—Christian Troussieux of Brut Bottling announced April 16 the launch of a new custom crush service for sparkling wine. The new business is a collaboration between Troussiux, Steve Ryan, general manager and vice president of Wine Foundry and sparkling winemaker Craig Roemer.

“If you’re a small-lot producer looking to get into sparkling wines, options are quite limited,” Ryan said in an interview with Wines & Vines. He said larger custom crush facilities often require a minimum lot size of 5 tons or more.

The partners plan to combine their areas of expertise: The Wine Foundry will be responsible for pressing, settling, and primary fermentation; Brut Bottling will provide equipment needed for the desired style of sparkling — méthode traditionnelle, pet-nat, or carbonated wines — and Roemer will act as the overseeing winemaker.

Services and facilities are available on a per-package basis, so winemakers new to sparkling wine production can “experiment.” This, again, differs from some of the larger sparkling houses that require an ongoing contract, Ryan said.

Despite just launching this week, Troussieux said they already have five or six wineries interested in using their services, including one as far south as Santa Barbara, Calif. He said he is planning on 15 to 25 more wineries to sign up within the next few months.

The Wine Foundry has the capacity to hold 100 tons, but Ryan said that between him and Troussiux, they have the space and permits to hold more as the business grows. “I like to think of Brut Crustom Crush as an incubator for folks to start a sparkling wine program. Then they can graduate into a larger format program down the road if they want,” he said. “We’ll be the first stepping stone for those small-lot winemakers.”

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