First Crush Winery
 
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… producing exquisite wines to be enjoyed at local restaurants and wine shops but also supporting an active winemaking cooperative fostering friendship, knowledge and fun.

The vision and the passion of First Crush Winery is under the proud direction of Frank D. Puzio, a local eye doctor with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. Aside from a rewarding day job, Dr. Frank has been evolving his enology experiences and skills for more than 30 years. “The mission for First Crush Winery is simple; to produce exquisite wines that will turn the heads of the most discriminating, utilizing the finest fruit in the land while sparing no expense on equipment and technology.”

The atypical winemaking cooperative of First Crush Winery is an enjoyable hands-on team-building opportunity for its members to join in during primary winemaking events thus helping make the wine that will ultimately be their own. Members join by reserving a minimum of two cases of wine per yearly production. Currently, 300+ coop members enjoy reduced pricing, ongoing education and opportunities to form new friendships during winemaking and social events.

The name First Crush is a play-on-words depicting the realities of making wine, along with the social enjoyment experienced consuming wine. The first step in making wine is a process called “the crush” that strips the grapes from their stems to yield only berries and juice in preparation for fermentation. In addition, when the nectar of the God’s is enjoyed, it is typically in the presence of friends, family and/or with a person in your life that elicits a meaningful crush. And so, we are First Crush Winery!

“In water one sees one’s own face; but in wine, one beholds the heart of another.”
An Old French Proverb

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At family gatherings long ago I remain with fond memories of joining my grandfather Dominic to his basement wine room.  I recall the cool musty experience, the old dark wine-stained barrels and the interesting and consistent smell of his wine room.

In preparation for a family dinner he would carefully pour his ruby-red homemade wine from one of his barrels into a large ceramic pitcher. Inevitably he would then put a finger over his lips suggesting we share a secret. “Frankie, do you want a taste of grandpa’s wine?”  And with a predictable nod of approval he reached for a small glass, carefully opened the tap on a barrel and poured us a small sample.  We shared a sip and always exchanged mutual smiles of approval. I can now reflect that those memorable and endearing times with my grandfather and my observation of the joy he experienced sharing his very own homemade wine with his family.

 It pleases me that I am now the one making memories for my family, my friends, and that may now include you. Over the last 20+ years, I have refined my wine making skills through the study of advanced enology literature, attending educational opportunities at national symposiums and from valuable hands-on lessons learned from yearly wine making.

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Our Wines

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As the saying goes, “Life is too short to drink cheap wine.” Making a truly great wine takes time, patience and significant expense on many levels, but it always begins with the procurement of quality fruit!  At this time, First Crush Winery produces five special wines. We are fortunate to be able to obtain remarkable fruit from the finest growing regions in California and from growers that we know and trust.  Four days following harvest, the fruit is in our hands and the many month winemaking process begins.  Not many would expect high-end complex fruit-forward wines to be produced right here on Cape Cod, but we do!

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Fusion: Fusion depicts the perfect marriage that has taken place with a carefully selected family of Bordeaux varietals.  Fusion is a powerful fruit-forward blend with a long complex finish.  It is comprised primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon harvested from deep-rooted rocky volcanic hillside vineyards and also from bountiful topsoil-rich valley vineyards.  This blend also contains lesser amounts of Merlot and Malbec.  Fusion is aged in new French oak, medium-toast, for one year.

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visZINary: The word visZINary was derived to highlight the wine and the vision of the winemaker.  This wine does not have the sharp characteristics of a typical Zinfandel.  It is a softer  fruit-forward surprise.  visZINary is comprised primarily of old vine Primitivo Zinfandel blended to a lesser extent with Petite Sarah.  To capture a hint of a caramel influence, this tasty zin is aged in new Hungarian oak, medium toast, for one year.

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Star Spangled: Star Spangled is a delightful prize boasting a fresh-crisp California style with distinctive hints of grapefruit and tropical tones.  Star Spangled is comprised of 100% Sauvignon Blanc and will please the most discriminating wine lovers.  It is un-oaked and finished in stainless casks.

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Three-Sip-Cran: We are pleased to offer this pleasurable elixir comprising Cape Cod dry-picked cranberries and a smaller percentage of California raisins.  You can enjoy this wine chilled in a typical fashion, or in creative ways over ice with a squeeze of lime, with a spritzer or with fruit, like a Sangria.  Three-Sip Cran will create an experience that will delight you with every sip! Click Here to view our recipe for our Cranberry Relish.

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Cran Blanc: If you like Sauvignon Blanc, you will love Cran Blanc!  It has the hint of the tart influence of our refreshing cranberry-raisin joined with the fruity-tropical tones of our Sauvignon Blanc.  This unique to us blend is a delightful refreshing surprise.  In a creative spirit, Cran Blanc can also be joined with champagne or Proseco to create a Mimosa-like experience.

Our Grapes

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The first question we commonly hear when people learn we are a new Cape Cod Winery… “Where do you grow grapes?”  There are many reasons why we do not including land costs and climate, but primarily, Cape Cod is void of the mineral-rich volcanic soils needed to produce complex premium wines.  The paradigm of First Crush Winery is structured around procurement of fruit from the best wine growing regions in America.

As our primary resource, First Crush Winery has established a close relationship with a three generation family grower in northern California.  Our growers are not simply a resource, they are our friends.  The Suisun Valley AVA literally borders Napa Valley and benefits from a Mediterranean climate, fertile soils with volcanic minerals and significant marine air influences during the summer.  Our growers, the Lanza family maintain 225 acres of pristine vineyards within walking distance to Napa Valley on the southeast, closest to the Stagg’s Leap District of Napa Valley.  They can make available to us both hillside and valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.

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TO JOIN OUR COOP

First Crush Winery is far from typical since the coop element is a primary emphasis of our efforts. The membership benefits and fundamentals of First Crush Coop are as follows:

  • Members reserve wines at reduced costs.
  • Members have the option to participate in the winemaking processes.
  • Members receive ongoing email progress notes and educational correspondence.
  • Members participate in planned coop social events and wine tastings.
  • Members receive discounts at varied local restaurants and wine shops.
  • Members benefit from camaraderie and new friendships formed at winemaking and social events.

Additional Information

Membership

First Crush Winery coop membership requires a minimum reserve of 2 cases (24 bottles). To join, members provide a 50% deposit and the balance due at bottling.

  • 2 cases (minimum) : 50% deposit of $90.00 per case
  • 3-10 cases: 50% deposit of $85.00 per case
  • 11-25 cases: 50% deposit of $80.00 per case

Frank's Co-op Updates

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News from First Crush Winery ~ Cape Cod

Greetings First Crushers,

The First Crush Truck…
The logo and signage of First Crush Winery is now proudly displayed on our, new to us, 1949 Mercury pickup. I reflect that my grandfather was making homemade wine in 1949. It’s hard to imagine that our truck was on the road that long ago, but it was. In 1949 I was a happy boy drinking milk in a stroller. Sometimes I miss my stroller!

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Upcoming Events

Another Informal get-together at the winery

Historically, couples will bring a bottle of wine and a small appetizer to share by all. Singles can mooch. Nothing formal planned this time except for me to provide a state of the winery talk for a few minutes and to give a live demo of our robot bottling machine. Be thinking of a fitting name for the bottle-filler thing-a-ma-gig. Primarily, our time will be occupied with mingling, socializing, sipping, smiling and tasting. It will be a nice pre-dinner beginning to a spring evening on Cape Cod.

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Informal get-together at the winery

Saturday, May 18th 2013 from 4-6 pm
Historically, couples will bring a bottle of wine and a small appetizer to share by all. Singles can mooch. Nothing formal planned this time except for me to provide a state of the winery talk for a few minutes and to give a live demo of our robot bottling machine. Be thinking of a fitting name for the bottle-filler thing-a-ma-gig. Primarily, our time will be occupied with mingling, socializing, sipping, smiling and tasting. It will be a nice pre-dinner beginning to a spring evening on Cape Cod.

Continue Reading →

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