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Lubrication

Tank Garage Winery
 
January 6, 2021 | Tank Garage Winery

Behind our Little Garage

The story behind the garage begins with Eddie Bratton, a young fella from Fargo, North Dakota. He bought his first motorcycle bike in 1926 at the age of 15 and eventually rode out from Fargo to California, surviving solely on onion sandwiches and potatoes he'd dig up from rural farms. Eddie started at Hap Jones' Indian Motorcycle dealership in San Francisco, tuning bikes and manufacturing custom "Bratton Cams," his rendition for the nation’s top riders looking for an extra boost. 
When he wasn’t working, he was riding. He competed annually in the Catalina Grand Prix, one of the biggest races in the country at the time. According to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, it was a 100-mile event held on Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles and the course was a mixture of road, dirt fire trails, singletrack, and even went through a golf course. Many big riders skipped the Grand Prix to avoid embarrassment when riders who typically dominated the race came out on top. 

One of his favorite tricks while riding was with his wife. He would stand on one foot peg and raise his body off the seat on that side. His wife would scoot under him and he would slide back, swapping him as the driver. Consider it the motorcycle version of the Chinese fire drill except while the bike was moving. Then, they’d catch up with their group and surprise their fellow riders with her in charge. 
He was known for his devotion to Indian motorcycles, considering them tried and true. He opened up his shop where Tank sits today, racing and repairing classic bikes until retiring in the early 80s. His custom 1947 Indian Chief still sits in our brick hallway with his trophies line on the wall behind it. Some tasting room staff may say that Eddie still hangs out in the back hallways of the garage. True legends never die but don’t worry, he’s not the hell-raiser he used to be. 


The inspiration behind Tank comes from a visit our owner, James Harder, took earlier in his career to a gas station winery in Walla Walla, Washington. A wine bottle shop, a pet shop, and a few other miscellaneous ventures along the way, our very own Harder then discovered our little garage in 2014 and saw something different. With an extensive marketing background, he had no idea he possessed all the tools to create the best tasting room in Calistoga.  A little dreamin’ later, Tank Garage Winery was born. 
When you step into Tank Garage Winery today, you can feel the presence of a story. There’s something different about walking into a location that has taken on many different hats over the years. Strolling through the big restored rolling garage door and pouring wines under a giant lubrication sign, we think Eddie would be proud. The preservation of the history of the garage combined with a love for cool, new wines has created your new favorite place to hang.

Time Posted: Jan 6, 2021 at 11:00 AM Permalink to Behind our Little Garage Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
December 30, 2020 | Tank Garage Winery

What is it really like to visit Tank Garage Winery?

Hey there! Welcome to Tank Garage Winery, the coolest winery in Napa Valley. No... really. Visiting the tasting room is like taking a trip back in time to a 1920s gas station turned speakeasy, pouring rad as shit wines and playing bomb as hell music. Cool California vibes mixed with vintage decor bring to fruition the most quirky encounter you’ll get at a winery. We think tasting wine should be easy, chill, and accessible for everyone and that’s the experience we’ve created at Tank. No judgment. No pressure. No frills. Everything we do is with our heart and soul. 

When tasting in Napa Valley, we know you’re looking for the most fun winery experience. We got you. For approximately an hour, we will pour you through four limited release wines, delving into stories behind our one of a kind labels and the history behind our treasured spot. We pay attention to the little things: the tables are made of old wine barrels and the garage is decked out with Indian motorcycle memorabilia, a custom-made surfboard, and an Evil Knievel pinball machine.  Feel free to wander the garage, play a few rounds of pinball, check out our specially curated merch room, or just hang with our staff. 

At the best tasting room in Calistoga, you get top-notch wines paired with god-tier service. Our goal is to create a memorable experience you won’t forget so we found the finest in the business. When you walk through the front door, it is like walking into a friend’s house. We have the raddest crew around with Heath rockin' the stereo, Jacey singin’ a tune, Conary flexing his camo, and Aaron dropping some hot somm knowledge. From club member, Steph H: “Every experience I've had with a team member there has been fun, educational, and genuine. Almost like hanging out with friends!”

At the coolest winery in Napa Valley, our wines revolve around the art of the blend, a testament to the way wine used to be made during the days of Prohibition. As far south as Central Valley, north as Mendocino, and scattered across Napa Valley, we source our fruit from all over California. We tend to favor small, family-owned wineries and people we’ve met along the way. Teroldego, Cinsault, Picpoul, and Valdiguie are just a few of the obscure grape varietals we’ve used recently that you probably haven’t heard of. We push the boundaries of winemaking with unfined, unfiltered wines, sparkling pet nats, orange wines, carbonic wines, and so much more. Even the most experienced wine taster might learn a little something. 

Most wineries don’t emphasize how important sick merch is. We decided to create merch that we want ourselves. From harmonicas to flasks to clothes to beach blankets, if you need a gift off the beaten path, we’re your spot. Our tees are screen printed on the softest 100% cotton shirts of your dreams (we know we caught your eye with the “Who the fuck is Tank Garage Winery?” one). 
Every day, we celebrate this crazy dream turned into a movement where we get to do cool shit and you get to come along for the ride. We celebrate the adventurers, the dreamers, the weirdos, the free spirits, and the misfits. So next time you’re in town, you won’t want to miss out. Come by our little garage and celebrate with us.

Time Posted: Dec 30, 2020 at 11:00 AM Permalink to What is it really like to visit Tank Garage Winery? Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
December 15, 2020 | Tank Garage Winery

A Walk Through Enlightenment Vineyard

The Russian River flows steadily along the highway road into the small town of Ukiah, darting around mountains and moss-covered oak trees. Fall has sauntered on into December this year as the brittle leaves are still crisping into orange and yellow hues. The berries that remain on the vines are shriveled and withered. While marching through one of the rows, we discovered a little sparrow’s nest situated in-between two shoots, long-abandoned like the grape leaves beneath it. The vines are dormant and ready for pruning to invigorate next year’s growth. It seems that the transition from Fall to Winter is a quiet time of tranquility in the vineyards, lacking the hustle and bustle of the pruners and viticulturists arriving in the Spring and harvesting through the year. 

Winemaking has a lengthy history in Mendocino with 108 local wineries still producing. Specifically, Ukiah houses many small vineyards which are typically five or fewer acres, but the area is home to quite possibly the deepest grape-growing roots in the country. During Prohibition, nearly all wineries were eradicated and replaced with fruit and tree nut orchards, but some remains of those deserted wineries still exist. Today, Mendocino is well-known for dominating the green wine movement, with ¼ of grapes in the region grown and farmed organically. 

We took a trip to the Enlightenment vineyard in Mendocino County where we previously sourced fruit from 85-year-old vines for Bohdi, our newly released Chenin Blanc, farmed naturally and organically. We picked and whole-cluster-pressed our Chenin Blanc using native yeast fermentation in a barrel with a partial natural malolactic fermentation to create a wine that’s both fresh and creamy. The Enlightenment Vineyard sits just a few miles east of downtown Ukiah and about a mile away from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, one of the largest Buddhist communities in the Western hemisphere. There’s something so peaceful about soundlessly trudging through the vineyards that source the grapes to make our wine while it’s unattended. If you were to capture the moment in a snow globe, it’s like being enclosed within a mini-ecosystem, ever-changing and evolving.

 

Time Posted: Dec 15, 2020 at 9:06 AM Permalink to A Walk Through Enlightenment Vineyard Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
November 19, 2020 | Tank Garage Winery

The Ultimate Comfort Food Pairing

Pot Pie

Winter is well on its way and we've been yearning for soul-satisfying recipes to warm our bellies. Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie is the ultimate comfort food and hot damn does it make a luscious pairing for our tempestuous Bordeaux-style blend, Wild Eyes.

This recipe takes a bit of time, but we promise it'll be worth it in the end. Do yourself a favor and whip up the Beef Bourguignonne a day ahead of time – the flavor is incredible if you let it sit overnight before assembling the pot pie.  

Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie

Serves 4

Ingredients

Beef Bourguignonne:
1 lb beef chuck, cubed into 1" pieces
olive oil, as needed
1 med onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
2 med carrot, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 qt beef broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp thyme
Yukon gold potatoes, diced

Pie Crust:
2.66 oz butter, cold, cubed 
4 oz all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1.25 fl oz cold water
salt

Method

Beef Bourguignonne:
Step one
Heat oven to 325º F

Step two
Pat cubed beef dry with paper towels and generously season with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of olive oil until you begin to see the oil begin to slightly ripple. Working in batches, sear the beef until browned on all sides, draining the pan between batches, and adding a fresh tablespoon of olive oil per batch. Once browned, remove meat from pan and set aside for future use. 
Tip: Don't overcrowd the pan and get a deep brown crust on all sides of the beef. This will further enhance the flavor of your stew.

Step three
Add onions, celery and carrots to pan over medium heat and cook, gently scraping the fond (seared brown bits from the beef) from the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables begin to soften (about five minutes), add garlic and tomato paste cook for an additional three to five minutes. The tomato paste should begin to turn a dark rust color. 

Step four
Add wine, beef broth, bay leaf, thyme and seared beef to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, place lid on the pot, and place in the pre-heated oven for two hours.
Tip: Use low or no-sodium beef broth to have full control of your seasoning level. 
Tip #2: Use inexpensive (but drinkable) red wine. No need to waste the Wild Eyes!

Step five
Remove pot from oven and add diced potatoes. Place back into the oven and cook for an additional hour, or until all the vegetables are cooked, beef is tender and the broth has thickened. Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow stew to cool to room temperature before assembling pot pie. 
Tip: Prepare Beef Bourguignonne the day before making pot pie – the flavor will improve if you give them a chance to meld together overnight.

Pie Crust:
Step one
Place flour and salt in a bowl and whisk combine. Add cold butter and rub into the flour using your hands. Once the pieces of butter resemble the size of small peas, add cold water a little bit at a time, mixing the dough with your hands until it just beings to come together. Tip: Dough may look a bit crumbly at this point, but will hold together if you pinch it between your fingers.

Step two
Empty dough mixture onto a clean, flat surface and gently knead to form a disk. Wrap tightly with plastic and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.

Assembly:
Step one
Preheat oven to 375º 

Step two
Transfer Beef Bourguignonne to a 9" cast iron skillet and fill to a little less than an inch from the top. Do not overfill – the filling will bubble over the crust while cooking in the oven.

Step three
Remove pie crust from the refrigerator and allow to rest for five to ten minutes on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough to approximately 1/8" thickness, creating about an 11" circle. Be sure to check the bottom of your crust is not sticking to the surface when rolling out dough. Add a small amount of flour to the surface as needed to prevent sticking.
Tip: No rolling pin? No problem! Grab a wine bottle – it'll do the job.

Step four
Place pie crust over cast iron skillet and pinch with fingers to form a fluted edge. Cut four small slits in the center of the crust. Brush the top and edges of the crust with an egg wash (egg mixed with a bit of milk or water) and place in the oven for forty-five minutes to one hour, or until the crust is golden brown.

Serve and savor your hard work! 

 

Recipe by Grace Coyne

Time Posted: Nov 19, 2020 at 1:00 AM Permalink to The Ultimate Comfort Food Pairing Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
November 11, 2020 | Tank Garage Winery

West Coast Perspective with Frank Maddocks

If you’re a fan of Green Day, Linkin Park, Deftones, or Gary Clark Jr., you’ve probably seen Frank Maddocks’ work. A 20-year vet with Warner Music Group, Frank is the man behind some of the most iconic album covers of our time. And as an artist, he’s only getting started.

Born and bred in Los Angeles, Frank grew up within Venice’s burgeoning culture of surf, skate, and music and attributes his viscerally textured aesthetics to the DIY street art found throughout Southern California. After graduating from the ArtCenter College of Design and a few freelance surf gigs, Frank found a way to break into the world of music and his first album project was a big one.

“My first cover was White Pony for Deftones in 2000. I was such a fan of the band and had gone to their concerts and shown them my work. When I learned they had a new album in the works, I reached out to Maverick Records and they decided to hire me to work on the art.”

Creating a visual identity for music can be a challenging responsibility. “You have to be fair to the musicians,” Maddocks says. “I’ll talk to them about their mindset when they wrote the album, pour through the lyrics, and do 5-10 comps with a range of ideas, themes, and approaches. An album cover informs the listener as a viewer and should be a good representation of the music and emotions within it.”

His process is lo-fi and old school. Frank starts most designs with hand-drawings and compositions before introducing digital tools to amplify the analog feel. He loves to do shit practically. For the cover of Green Day’s Revolution Radio, he rented a studio, hired a special effects crew, and lit the boombox on fire for real.

Frank’s ability to capture unique moments is deeply inspired by his love of street photography. “I take a lot of pictures. I feel like something's missing when I'm not taking new photos.” The image used for WEST comes from a scene Frank spotted on the streets of Los Angeles. A simple word, behind a cagey chain-link fence, communicated the right balance of beauty and danger. That juxtaposition, Frank describes as a “west coast perspective.”

Of all of his work, the pieces he feels most connected to come from these caught moments. In particular, the cover for Linkin Park’s One More Light. “That last album released just before Chester passed and had a photo I captured of my kids in the ocean. All the members of the band were getting older and becoming parents and having that human element was really cool. It’s just one of those caught moments you can’t recreate.”

Recently, Frank’s been creating more for himself. Collages, paintings, sketches, a potential punk rock-inspired clothing line. He’s still got plenty of creative dreams to chase. And luckily, he always has new inspirations. “I’m really loving artists these days uploading their own songs and making their own artwork for them. That lo-fi, wild west approach, it’s cool because it’s not overthought or corporate.”

To check out Frank Maddocks' latest work, including artwork for the new Deftones album Ohms, visit his official website frankmaddocks.com and Instagram @frankmaddocks.

Time Posted: Nov 11, 2020 at 10:30 AM Permalink to West Coast Perspective with Frank Maddocks Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
October 30, 2020 | Tank Garage Winery

Name That Variety

 
Time Posted: Oct 30, 2020 at 12:31 PM Permalink to Name That Variety Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
October 26, 2020 | Tank Garage Winery

Wine Quiz

 
Time Posted: Oct 26, 2020 at 10:41 AM Permalink to Wine Quiz Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
September 30, 2020 | Tank Garage Winery

What the hell is an orange wine?

One of the most satisfying things we get to do at the garage giving people their first taste of "orange" wine. While the orange wine movement is often attributed to the so-called "hipster" wine movement, it's actually an OG winemaking technique that is thousands of years old.

First thing's first, these wines aren't made from oranges, they are made from grapes. The term "orange" wine comes from the warmer hues of color extracted through skin-contact during fermentation. And having made several of these wines over the past 6 years, the color can range from dark yellow to Sunkist soda orange and dark copper.

So why is it orange? Good question. But let's start by talking about red wine. The reason red wines are indeed red in color is that we press red grapes and let the juice sit on the red grape skins for a certain amount of time, where they extract color. Now with white wines, traditionally we pick white grapes and only let the juice and the grape skins have limited contact to preserve lighter colors and produce crisper wines. With orange wines, all we do is use white grapes and ferment them like red wine, allowing the white juice to sit on the skins for 5-21 days before the final pressing. This allows the juice to extract color from the white grape skins which typically produce a darker, oranger wine.

See, not that complicated. But we think these wines are due a little more credit. Firstly, the wine is fucking ORANGE in color. How cool is that? Secondly, we find that our orange wines have these amazing tropical and floral aromas unlike any we have smelled in traditional white wines. The flavors get even more interesting, creating richer wines with tastes ranging from banana laughy-taffy to creamsicle and pineapple. We've worked with several varieties like Vermentino, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Trousseau Gris, and Bourboulenc, and continue to find new flavors and textures.

We like to think of our orange wines as more versatile cousins to Rosé. Orange wines pair well with everything from sushi, to curries, and dessert. We like to serve them chilled, but they can also show more complexity at room temperature. Frankly, we're surprised more wineries don't make them.

Lastly, there's a little bit of a debate whether orange wines deserve their own category of classification versus just saying they are skin-fermented white wines. Honestly? Who gives a fuck. Just enjoy 'em for what they are: delicious wines.

Time Posted: Sep 30, 2020 at 10:56 AM Permalink to What the hell is an orange wine? Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
September 15, 2020 | Tank Garage Winery

For the love of Rioja

Chorizo and Potatoes

If you’ve been following along, our love for Spanish Rioja is no secret and Tempranillo is something we just can’t quit. It's full in body, with the perfect amount of tannin and juicy red fruit flavors. Our 2019 SRR Red Wine brings Tempranillo together with Graciano, adding deep, dark color and beautiful aromatics that make the wine a knockout pairing for your next dinner. 

This Chorizo and Potatoes recipe takes SRR to the next level and brings out some really amazing savory qualities in the wine. Snag a few bottles for your next night in and score $1 shipping on a 3+ bottles of SRR with code: CHORIZO at checkout through 9/21.

Chorizo and Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 med Yellow Onion, small dice
12 oz Pork Chorizo
3-4 med Yukon Gold Potatoes, large dice
2 tbs Garlic, minced
2 cups Arugula, loosely packed
Olive Oil, as needed
Salt & Pepper, as needed

Method:

In a large bowl, toss diced potatoes with 1-2 tbs of olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add approximately 2 tbs of olive oil to the pan. When the oil begins to ripple, add onions, season and cook until softened. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add a small amount of oil to the pan and bring the heat back up to medium-high. Add pork chorizo to the pan, breaking the meat up into medium chunks. Brown on all sides and stir occasionally until cooked. Deglaze with a bit of water, and scrape the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula to loosen any brown bits. Add to the garlic and onion mixture and set aside for later.

Bring heat back up to medium and add another tbs of olive oil to the pan. When the oil begins to ripple, add potatoes. Keep your heat at medium-low and stir occasionally until brown and crisp on all sides and the centers are fork-tender. This process typically takes 20-25 minutes. 

When the potatoes are finished, add pork and garlic mixture back to the pan and gently stir to combine and re-heat. Just before serving, add arugula, gently stir to combine and season to taste. 

Tip: This is a great recipe to cook over the fire on your next camping trip!

Recipe by Grace Coyne

Time Posted: Sep 15, 2020 at 7:00 AM Permalink to For the love of Rioja Permalink
Tank Garage Winery
 
September 9, 2020 | Tank Garage Winery

New in September

 
 
 
It's Harvest, Baby
 
We met Bertus at sunrise on August 11th for our first pick of the 2020 season at Sierra de Montserrat Vineyard in the small town of Loomis, CA. The vineyard crews were already busy at work, making their way through the vines at lightning speed and filling our bins to the brim with Barbera clusters. Fans of Pop-Nat should take notice – those bodacious berries are destined for one hell of a pét-nat that'll be dropping sometime next year. Get excited. 🍾

Since the beginning of August, we've brought in over 40 tons of fruit from across California. With nearly 50 vineyard sources to pick from in 2020, there's much to look forward to on the horizon. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Vibes
 
Outdoor tastings are here to stay and we've got the coolest set up in town. Taste through four of our latest and greatest releases under the shade of our brand new tents. Our current lineup includes:

2019 Wasted Love, Rosé Wine, California
2019 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Red Wine, Sierra Foothills
2018 Somewhere Out On That Horizon, Red Wine, Mendocino County, Fox Hill Vineyard
2018 Thundercloud, Red Wine, California

We're open 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm by reservation only.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The next MADE Club release is coming...
 
In our most exclusive release yet, we're pumping out three brand new reds that are sure to make you swoon:

2019 Marlenas from Reseda, Red Wine, Sierra Foothills
2018 Bring Black Roses, Mixed Blacks, Napa Valley
2019 Money Honey, Red Wine, Mendocino County, Fox Hill Vineyard



These wines are in short supply and MADE members gain first access. Don't miss out on these legendary slated to drop in the next MADE club release on September 21st.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet Christie, Cellar Hand
 
What TGW wine are you currently obsessed with and why?
The 2020 pét-nat, no questions asked. I've never seen a blend like this before and I'm amped. And it's already the first wine of the 2020 vintage in bottle!

What's the most interesting thing you've done/seen this harvest?
There's a puncheon of MV Nebbiolo in the cellar that makes me smile because, while I adore Nebbiolo, I know firsthand how hard it is to grow (especially outside of Piemonte). I've personally thought the best way to be successful with it as a single varietal wine in California is to make it multi-vintage to try and capture a more refined expression... and then I walk in and see exactly that AND in large format cooperage? Hell yeah. Hellllll yeah.

What's your favorite varietal and why?
Chenin Blanc! I love the versatility of this grape. Still or sparkling, sweet or dry, lean or round, drink tonight or cellar for years. It can show lanolin slickness, vibrant orchard fruit, minerality, nuttiness, delicate florals, creaminess. It does it all! My francophile heart will always favor Savennières and brut Vouvray, but I'll drink it from anywhere and everywhere. #TeamSteen

What's your dream?
For all queer people to have safety, love, support, access to affordable, quality healthcare, and to live authentically without fear of persecution and discrimination. (And for people to someday walk into a wine shop and ask for a Christie Basinas import the way they do for Kermit Lynch today.)

What's your favorite band? 
Fleetwood Mac. I've got my mom's vintage Rumours album on vinyl and it's one of my prized possessions. Thanks, Ma!

Favorite local restaurant + dish to get?
This is too hard! But I can say that the first dish that popped into my head was Dustin Valette's signature Day Boat Scallops en Croute. I'm a hedonist and can't resist this with a glass of Champagne. 

Top 3 songs to listen to right now?
Savage Remix – Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé
Move Your Body – Sia
Now I'm In It – HAIM

What are you doing when you're not in the cellar?
Singing karaoke, hiking to explore/celebrate NorCal, watching Sonoma Coast sunrises and sunsets, tending to my herb garden, watching a lot of drag, writing poems, going dancing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
A Note of Gratitude
 
We'd be remiss if we didn't show our extreme gratitude to all of the vineyard workers and their families that help make this industry possible. These amazing individuals work relentlessly behind the scenes, even in the face of fires, a pandemic and whatever else nature decides to throw their way. Without them, there wouldn't even be a harvest.

If you'd like to say thank you, please consider donating to the California Farmers Foundation, a non-profit organization that gives back to Farmworkers in California and empowers them to have a voice in their communities. The programs and services provided by this meaningful organization help individuals develop personal and professional skills that help enhance their quality of life. 
 
 
 
 

 

Instagram

 
Time Posted: Sep 9, 2020 at 2:41 PM Permalink to New in September Permalink