Vino Tabi Winery Launches its Consumer-Driven Wine Experience

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Vino-Tabi Winery has opened its doors in Santa Cruz, the region's first custom participatory winery

We encourage them to come visit their wine frequently and try new wines in our tasting room.

Vino Tabi Winery opened its doors in Santa Cruz as the region's first custom participatory winery. It provides individuals and businesses -- both local and international -- a way to participate in the making of custom-made, premium wines.

One of the new breed of "micro-crush" wineries, Vino Tabi veers from the traditional winemaking emphasis on the winemaker and the brand. Instead, it offers customers various opportunities to become involved in the winemaking process -- from harvest through labeling. They also can participate in Vino Tabi's wine education learning events, and have frequent access to the winery's expert winemakers and the winery itself -- behind the cellar door.

"We provide the opportunity for customers to make a small amount of ultra-premium wine -- for themselves, for friends or customers, to showcase their personal vineyards or to serve in their restaurants," said Katie Fox, company founder and former Silicon Valley marketing executive turned wine entrepreneur. "We encourage them to come visit their wine frequently and try new wines in our tasting room."

Making custom wine is hardly new, Fox explained, as home winemaking has been growing in popularity for a number of years. The idea for Vino Tabi Winery -- with customers contributing to and learning about the process -- grew out of a local non-commercial wine cooperative, where Vino Tabi's Production Manager Doug Feinsod was a key winemaker. Doug has been making wine in the Santa Cruz Mountains for over nine years. He will coordinate winemaking programs with Vino Tabi's consulting winemakers, including Jeff Ritchey, who also makes wine under the Sensorium label.

Vino Tabi's Wine by the Barrel allows consumers to purchase a 60-gallon barrel of ultra-premium wine (24 cases), made from high quality grapes of this year's Crush, such as the Santa Cruz Chardonnays or Pinot Noir and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. They can also join Vino Tabi's Barrel Buddies network to share the barrel with others.

Customers then participate as much as they choose -- participating in the harvest, blendings and experiments, and making critical decisions about the making of the wine to call it their own.

Winery customers will private label their finished products for themselves and their customers.

Vino Tabi is located in Santa Cruz's newest wine destination -- the Wine Village on the west side of town, with seven other premium wineries and tasting rooms, including Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Sones Cellars and a new Bonny Doon Vineyard Tasting Room.

Vino Tabi is a new micro-crush winery with a consumer-centric focus, enabling customers to cost effectively participate in the process of making premium wines. It is located in the Westside Wine Village in Santa Cruz off Highway 1, at 334 Ingalls Street, Suite C. More information is at, or by contacting the winery at (408) 813-8384 or at [email protected]

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Katie Fox

Gail DeLano
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