Conor McCormack (right), who had been on the winemaking team at Crushpad, the urban winery in San Francisco, also worked at such California wineries as Rutherford Hill, Brehm and Audubon Cellars. However, he is not exclusively a Left Coaster. He also worked at the well-regarded Astor Wines and Spirits in Manhattan.
As he did at Crushpad, McCormack will oversee all aspects of wine production for Brooklyn Winery, which is labeled an “urban winery and winemaking center.”
The facility is a work in progress. The plan is for it to open for the fall 2010 harvest season. It will have three main offerings:
• Make your own wine with with a group of your friends, family, or co-workers. The staff will assist in every step.
• A tasting room to sample wines produced throughout the year by McCormack.
• Rental space for events such as parties, corporate events and weddings.
For the fall 2010 winemaking season, the facility will offer several varietals of red wine, then expand the possibilities in 2011. The winemaking season will include wines from the northern hemisphere (New York, California, Oregon, etc.) Winemaking in the spring harvest season, participants will use grapes from the southern hemisphere (Chile, Argentina, etc.)
From start to finish, the winemaking process takes 8 to 10 months. Fall 2010 winemakers will bottle their wine in summer 2011.
Co-founders John Stires and Brian Leventhal worked together for ExpoTV.com, a social media company, and got the winemaking bug by making wine with co-workers and friends at Make Wine With Us in New Jersey.
As a result, they left their jobs and headed for Brooklyn to create their own winemaking operation. Their mission statement:
“Our goal is to provide a unique, entertaining, and educational winemaking experience in a welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re a vinophile with an experienced palate or you’re completely new to wine, we’re here to provide you with a fun and friendly venue to enjoy the beauty and complexities of wine.”