Decanter

THE RISE OF THE URBAN WINERY

The room hums with motorcycle memorabilia, vintage records, an oil-can guitar, and neon. Depeche Mode’s World in my Eyes pours from speakers. Jacey, a sales associate, decants into her giant Erlenmeyer flask a non-vintage red named I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night. She calls it an eight-grape, kitchen-sink blend. I catch hints of Barbera and Carignan and the reference to a 1966 Electric Prunes song. I ask more about it, but Jacey shrugs off my questions: ‘We don’t spend too much time talking about winemaking details.’ I understand. It’s garage rock... must we fuss over the time signature?

Tank Garage Winery, a rebel unicorn of Napa Valley, specialises in quaffable, ready-to-drink, affordable one-offs produced from contracted grapes at a warehouse in South Napa. Jacey says that South African-born winemaker Bertus van Zyl ‘spends time tasting stuff and saying we should do something cool with it – you may not remember what’s in the bottle, but you’ll remember the label’. Because here, and at other urban wineries around the US, it doesn’t matter what you’re drinking as long as you’re happy.

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