… 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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Happy Passover and Happy Easter First Crushers…
Our New Digs…
As many of you have seen, First Crush Winery has expanded to include a contiguous third unit at Olde Depot Industrial. As I write this, it is receiving a cooling system to refrigerate half of the new space. I have constructed an insulated partition and a 6″ thick garage door to separate this cooler space from the front space. The front of the unit will store our larger equipment… the fork lift, firstcrusher-1, firstcrusher-2, Presszilla, many pallets of empty bottles and our new First Crush 1949 Mercury 1-ton pickup. The truck will not be used for dump runs, hauling grape stems or fermented grape skins. I am learning you can even have a first crush on a truck. That last sentence is calling for fictional authorship privilege, but I will leave it right there. Currently, carved signage is being made to show off our brand at special Cape events.
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 →
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.
From Route 6:
Take exit 10 and proceed south on Route 124. In approximately 1.5miles you will come to a stop sign in Harwich Center. Make a right turn, proceed straight, west. This is the beginning of Great Western Road. Now, follow directions from Harwich Center…
From Harwich Center:
Proceed directly west towards Dennis on Great Western Road. In approximately 1/2 mile, take the first primary right turn onto Main Street. Go past Station Avenue on the left, then go approximately 200 yards more and enter Olde Depot Industrial Park (527 Main Street) on the left. First Crush Winey resides in buildings 16-18. Enter at #18.
From the traffic light at the intersection of Route 134 and Upper County Road, proceed east onto Upper County and take an immediate left onto Great Western Road. Proceed approximately 2.5 miles, past Depot Street and passed the bike-path crossing and take the next left onto Lothrop. Go to the end of Lothrop and take a right onto Main Street. Proceed approximately 1/3 mile and the road will snake. Immediately after the snake turns take a right into Olde Depot Industrial Park, 527 Main Street. First Crush Winey resides in buildings 16-18. Enter at #18.