We're taking one giant leap for winemaking with our first Pét-Nat Sparkling Wine.
First of all, what exactly is Pét-Nat? Good question. Short for Pétillant Naturel and translated to "Natural Sparkling," this is the OG French method of making sparkling wine and dates back to the early 16th century. While most sparkling wines have their effervescence added during a second fermentation, Pét-Nat wines are bottled before they complete their first fermentation and the bubbles are produced by natural sugars in the grape juice.
The process is laborious, expensive and hard. The first two times we attempted to make a Pét-Nat, things didn't go as planned. Two years of learning and refinement later, we finally perfected the craft and the result is Space Crush.
Our friends from Babcock Ranch in Solano County hooked us up with a few small lots of their celestial Riesling. After some manual foot-stomping and a run through the basket press, the fermentation process began. After a few weeks, we moved the juice to bottles where the fermentation continued.
Then, we had to hand bottle and top each and every one of these using this filler and bright red Ferarri (yes, like the car) crown capper. Every. Single. Bottle. By. Hand. If that doesn't make Pet-Nat isn't a labor of love, we don't know what does.
Notice how the bottles look a little hazy, or might have some "stuff" in them? Space Crush is a natural wine and was not fully filtered. Because of this, there will be sediment inside each bottle from the Pét-Nat process that tells you it is legit. It's dirty, embrace it.
The label is fit for a Warhol exhibit. Since our first Pét-Nat was so out of this world, we decided on a retro cosmonaut theme, available in three mod colorways. The fun part? You'll receive a completely random color when you order.
And how'd it turn out? OH MY GOD. We nailed this one. It's fresh, crisp and complex with a floral perfume and green apple, peachy notes that endlessly orbit around your mouth. The texture is fascinating, the bubbles so satisfying and the finish extends to the moon.
Long before the masses started to flock to Napa Valley to sip on world-class wines and savor stupendous food, Calistoga’s majestic hot springs promised relaxation and healing to visitors both near and far.
Nothing in Calistoga is ordinary, including spa treatments. Darby opted for the Wine Country Scrub, a luxurious exfoliation with a little bit of wine-country swagger thanks to the scrub made from crushed grape seeds.
Next up, Grace got Perfectly Muddled. A spin on Calistoga’s famed historic mud baths, you get down and dirty in the garden, slathering your skin in mud and relaxing under the sun as it dries.
Mario stepped up to get the Groom and Go. This one’s for the guys and their skin needs. Curated, manly products (nothing frilly) help shed dead skin cells and replaced with newer, healthier ones. The result: Glowing skin and one happy Mario.
Bertus soaked his cares away in a gorgeous clawfoot tub during the Splish-Splash, an ode to the social bathhouses of days gone yonder.
Sigh. So relaxing.
Cheers to treating yo'self and thanks again to the homies at the Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa for the heavenly day. We'll be back!
Spot landed in Hermosa Beach in the mid-1970s. When he wasn't serving as the album producer and sound engineer for punk bands like the Misfits and Black Flag, the photographer, who goes only by Spot, was out roller-skating around Hermosa with a camera and a keen eye for SoCal beach and punk culture during the late 70s.
He started taking photography seriously in 1969. Spot grew up with magazines like LIFE and was inspired by the black and white journalistic photos he saw, and when he got a Pentax, he was inseparable with his camera.
Best. Garage. Sale. Ever.
On March 11th, we started Garage Sale season off right with a straight-up banger. We released the magical 2017 vintage of Stars Like Ours Rosé, sold every last bottle of Facing Fire to benefit California wildfire victims, ate way too many tacos and two club members even got engaged (Congrats Deb and Ken!)
You all are the best members, friends and neighbors in the world, thanks for partying with us.
Trust us, you're not going to want to miss the rest of our 2018 Garage Sales.
1. Give Back
Come early to snag an ultra-rare masterpiece called Facing Fire. Only 24 cases exist of this 100% whole-cluster-fermented Grenache from our beloved Calistoga. $60 per bottle (plus discount) and a portion of the proceeds will go to victims of California wildfires. Line-up starts at 10:30am!
2. Love in the Form of Tacos
It's called Taco Addiction for a reason and it's easily Napa's hottest food truck. Owner and bad-ass chef Enya draws crowds with her jubilant spirit and seriously delicious handmade tortillas. You get 3 fresh, life-changing tacos included with your ticket. First come, first-served!
3. Rosé For Days
You read that right! This Garage Sale will mark the official release of the 2017 vintage of our legendary Stars Like Ours Rosé. If you can't make it, don't fret, it will be available online in a few weeks.
4. 25% Off Everything
It's no secret that our Garage Sales are hands down where our best deals are at. Whether you want to re-stock your cellar, ship some new releases to someone special or grab a bottle to take with you to dinner later that night, this is the time to buy anything and everything you've had your eye on.
We're filling up the garage with the classics and need your help shattering their high scores, no quarters necessary. Watch this to get inspired.
So, you in?
Garage Sale - Arcade Challenge
Sunday, March 11
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Wine Club Members - Free plus 3 guests
Non-Club Peeps - $30 per person. Includes tacos, wine and games!
SOLD OUT! Thank you!
Inspired by the bold wines of Bordeaux, we blended some incredible Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc into the perfect storm of flavors and textures.
To make a powerful wine, we needed powerful fruit. This is where the Petit Verdot comes in. Petit Verdot is an underdog. It's underrated and typically not seen on its own or as the star of blends because of its intensity. Bertus and our team wanted to give this varietal a chance to shine, and you better believe they did just that.
Awhile back, we found ourselves on a serious Hemingway kick, obsessed with reading about the life and times of this deeply flawed yet adventurous and artistic man. When we learned that his first typewriter was a Corona #3, we tracked down and purchased the same vintage and model to see how it felt and if it would inspire us. And it did.
For this intellectual blend, we decided to sit down and type out one of our favorite quotes about standing up to adversity, looking it dead in the eye and saying, “bring it on”.
Intense aromas of plum, blackberry, violets and thyme hint towards the velvety mouthfeel and luscious dark flavors that make this blend a striking and downright cerebral wine.
I am the Storm.
A lot of people ask us about the surfboard in our garage, so here's the story.
Quick history lesson first. About 100-something years ago, three Hawaiian princes brought their redwood boards on a vacation to Santa Cruz, California.
Ever since, surfing has been symbolic of California culture. You could say the two go together like wine and garages.
Naturally, Tank needed its own board. But it couldn't just be off the rack, it had to be something unique and original.
So we hit up Dan Taylor, a legendary board builder out of Costa Mesa, California. Dan is a staple of the surfboard industry, known for building quality, high-performance boards.
His business started over 30 years ago as a high school hobby, handcrafting custom boards out of a garage.
Obviously, he was our guy, further reinforcing our mantra to Never Dream Alone.
We sent Dan one of our favorite vintage photos of a California motorbike racer and trusted he'd make us a great board.
Dan's first step is molding a polyurethane foam "blank" to form the core of the board.
After the core is set, he cuts the board in half and inserts a wooden stringer down the center to add rigidity, then the halves get glued right back together.
The next step is shaping the board, where Dan works his magic cutting, carving and sanding the board into a gnarly shape.
Finally, Dan lays down our motorbike racer overlay and starts "glassing" the board, a process covering the board in fiberglass and resin.
After a quick buff, polish and a new fin, our first Tank surfboard is officially ready to ride.
You can find our board chilling out in the corner of our garage. Here are the final specs:
Shaper: Dan Taylor
Model: Vintage Tanker
Dimensions: 8'0 x 3 x 22 x 2 7/8
Fin Setup: Single Fin Box
Glass: 6+6 oz. top/single 6 oz. bottom
Price: $1,250 (excluding tax and shipping)
Originally owned by Indian Motorcycle racer and tuner Eddie Bratton, our vintage service station has one of the coolest pedigrees in Napa Valley. Bar none.
Eddie bought his first bike in 1926 at the age of 15 and eventually rode out from Fargo, North Dakota to California, surviving solely on onion sandwiches and potatoes he'd dig up from rural farms. Keep in mind, this was during the depression.
"That piston was damn near to the bottom before the exhaust valve opened."
Eddie on his proprietary engine modification
The infamous Catalina Grand Prix, Eddie's #4
Once he made it to the Golden State, Eddie took up shop at Hap Jones' Indian Motorcycle dealership in San Francisco, tuning bikes and manufacturing custom "Bratton Cams" for the nation's top riders looking for extra power. Eddie was loyal. He only wrenched and raced Indian bikes. Nothing else was good enough.
When he wasn't in the garage, Eddie was on his bike. He competed annually in the Catalina Grand Prix and was famous for a road stunt where he'd balance himself up on a back peg, slide his old lady forward to take the handlebars, then sit back down behind her...without stopping.
A collection of Bratton's racing trophies
Eddie's '47 Indian Chief Motorcycle
After his days of racing and hell-raising ended, you could find him in his Calistoga garage, wrenching away on his prized '47 Indian Chief bike until he retired in the early '80s. If you asked anybody around town about an old motorcycle mechanic, they knew you meant Eddie.
Right around the time we took over the garage, we heard a local Calistogan had Eddie's old Chief in storage. After months of pleading, they relented and sold it to us, returning Eddie's amazing bike back to its rightful home.