COMPANY PROFILE

GRAVITY WINE HOUSE

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CONTACT INFO

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Address

3354 Coffey Ln Ste A
Santa Rosa
CA, 95403
United States
Phone
541-282-3466
Fax
Primary
Jacob Quint

Our Philosophy

Gravity Wine House is a Santa Rosa-based, boutique, custom-crush facility. We work with a limited number of select winery clients, focusing on small lots of premium wine. Our goal is to make our winery clients feel like they are in their own, dedicated winery.

Our Facility


Attention to detail is the name of the game. We utilize top of the line equipment and infrastructure to make your wine—one hand-sorted cluster at a time.

If you would like to make an appointment to tour the facility or explore becoming a future custom crush client, please visit our website at https://gravitywinehouse.com/. We look forward to connecting with you.

 

Barrel Steaming
Barrel Steaming
Bottling
Bottling
Cellar Work
Cellar Work
The Gravity Wine House facility
The Gravity Wine House facility
Gravity Wine House Tour
Gravity Wine House Tour
Enjoy a video tour of the Gravity Wine House facility, located in Santa Rosa.
How to Start a Wine Label

As a custom crush winemaking facility, a common question we get asked is, “how do I start a wine label?” Because this is so common, we wanted to provide a brief overview of some of the factors involved in this process.

If you’ve ever considered starting your own wine label, it’s likely that you don’t know where to begin. Many first-time business owners might assume that you have to own your own winery to start a wine company, but that is not the case for many new labels. There are many components to consider when thinking about making your own wine, and we are here to help. If you are thinking of potentially starting your own wine label without the burden or expense of owning your own winery, here are some pertinent details to keep in mind.

Compliance

Though it might sound tempting to start the process with finding grapes and immediately conceptualizing your flavor notes, it’s important to begin with considering the business side, specifically compliance. You will need the standard business items, such as Tax ID, liability insurance, etc. to get you started. From there, you should decide on whether you’ll be an alternating proprietor (AP) or not. If you decide on AP, you are required to have a bonded winery application, which will impact interstate shipping allowance (if you foresee this being a component of your wine-making business). Lastly, you will need a wholesaler permit and a 17/20 license. The Californian does a good job of summarizing the types of licenses you may want to consider further. Though many of these items probably sound intimidating, it’s important to launch from a process standpoint in order to lay out the business side of your new wine label. You’ll be glad you did.

Fruit

And now, the fun part! First, you need to decide on your source of desired fruit. The grapes you choose play a huge role in how your wine may taste, so you will want to devote some time and consideration to this step. When choosing grapes, you should consider the method in which you source grapes. For example, would you like to buy grapes by the ton from a local vineyard? Maybe you’d like to buy a section of a vineyard by the row, or perhaps you can plant the grapes yourself. Keep in mind that if you do choose to plant the grapes yourself, this is a long process. You can expect three to four years to go by before you have your first harvest of usable grapes. No matter which grapes you choose, it’s important that you make a decision that you feel would benefit you and the growth of your wine label over time.

Bins of grapes arrive at the winery to be sorted and processed.


Winemaker

The next step in creating your own wine label will be to determine who exactly makes the wine. Winemaking is said to be both an art and a science. Because of that, much of winemaking can be attributed to a feel, and other parts can be thought of as simple science know-how. Depending on your level of comfort and experience with winemaking, you may consider making the wine yourself. However, it’s always an option to hire someone else to make the winemaking decisions for you, which could free up your time to make other important business decisions for your label.

To sort—or not to sort—your grapes is one of many winemaking decisions to be made.


Winemaking Facility

You can’t make wine without a facility. Because of that, you must decide where exactly the winemaking process will take place. Some common facilities that wine labels regularly utilize are garages, new wineries, or custom crush facilities (oftentimes called “cooperatives”).

Stainless steel tanks are frequently seen around wineries and appreciated for their versatility and ease of sanitation.


Within your decision on which type of facility to use, you should also consider what types of equipment you’ll need to purchase. One perk of using a custom crush facility is that they often have great equipment and services that are available for you to use without you having to handle the overhead and business operations of your own winery. However, if you decide you’d like to manage the facility that produces your wine, you’ll likely need to secure tanks, sorting equipment, pumps, and presses. Keep in mind that you may need to be in charge of not only purchasing these items, but also facility maintenance and cleaning. According to The Grapevine Magazine, custom crush facilities are oftentimes attractive to new business owners because of the privileges the business owners can still enjoy relative to their wine like the marketing, trademarking, and bottling of the wine. Lastly, keep in mind that different states have different laws regarding custom crush facilities, so check out your winemaking state laws before making any permanent decision on your choice of winemaking facility.

Supplies

Other than the aforementioned supplies you’ll need if you decide to own the winemaking facility, there are other supplies to consider when you have your own label. You will need barrels to hold your wine while it ferments or during aging (see our blog on fermentation vessels) and glass bottles when it’s ready to be bottled. You may be able to buy wine bottles from a wholesaler, or you may want to spend time designing your own. Next, you’ll need corks to enclose the wine within the bottle (unless you decide to use twist-off screw cap closures). Lastly, you will need labels so your customers can identify your brand, and continue coming back to your wine over and over again.

Natural corks are one way to provide a closure for your wine.


Bottling

Bottling is a critical moment for wine. There are a couple of options you have for bottling purposes, but the first question you should ask yourself is whether or not you are bottling your own wine. Many winemakers decide to contract out their bottling instead of bottling the product themselves. You can do this with either a stationary line at your own facility or a mobile bottling line. All methods have their pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and your wine.

Bottling is a final, critical and often stressful final step to the winemaking process.


Storage

Then comes the decision of where you will store your wine after it is bottled and before it is sold. Choosing a wine storage facility is an important step. You will oftentimes have to store the wine during bottle aging. Once the wine is ready to release, you need a reliable warehouse capable of delivering your wine where you need it to go. Another option is to store the wine at your own facility if you have space. When you decide on storage, be sure to ask about temperature control, “in and out” fees, order release procedures and insurance for your product to ensure that your wine ultimately gets to your customers in its ideal condition.

Distribution and Sales

Wine distribution and sales is a part of the wine business that can be challenging for many first-time wine label owners. The most traditional method is the 3-tier distribution process for alcohol: producers, distributors, and retailers. Another generally more profitable and time-consuming avenue is DTC (Direct to Consumer). This method has a whole host of legal challenges that can be overcome with proper compliance.

Consider your options for brokers and distributors. Who will sell your wine? How will you distribute it? Do you plan to sell your wine yourself in your own store/company, or will you contract that out to another storeroom and another shipping and logistics firm? You may want to consider having a wine tasting room in a prominent location to let potential customers taste your wine before they purchase it, or you could showcase your wine at various wine tasting events around the world. There are many distribution and sales options for wine in this growing industry, which can help influence how much wine you eventually sell.

Have Fun!

Lastly, deciding to start your own label should be a fun journey full of excitement, passion and learning! Starting a new wine business can make the “winemaking” part seem simple, and you’ll likely meet many like-minded people along the way that share your enthusiasm for wine. Here at Gravity Wine House, we definitely share the positive energy surrounding winemaking, so feel free to reach out with questions! We have experience with all of these aspects and enjoy every part of them in different ways.


https://gravitywinehouse.com/blog/how-to-start-a-wine-label/



News Archive


Wine Production: Fermentation Vessels
07 February, 2019

When deciding what type of tank to use when making wine, you’ll likely come across a few different palatable options. Each type of tank has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to do your research before you set out to buy just any type of tank. Your wine is its own unique blend, so the best way to honor your wine is to ensure that its vessel helps accentuate its flavors and is a productive member of the winemaking process. In order to decide which type is right for you, we’ve summarized below the most common types of tanks, along with information regarding temperature control, oxygen levels and regulation, tannins and flavor impacts, sanitation issues, and the likely costs for each tank.

Stainless Steel Tanks

The most common of tanks, stainless steel vessels offer many benefits to the winemaking process. Not only is it fairly easy to regulate temperature in stainless steel tanks, but they are also known to be very easy to clean—and even perhaps, the easiest of all types—due to the smooth surfaces of the tanks. Sanitation is a large factor in the winemaking process, which makes this a very important factor.

Stainless steel tanks are a common sight in wineries. The properties of stainless steel make it a great fit for fermentation (and storage) tanks, and overall investment for your winery.

These types of tanks are also cost effective, so if price is any consideration (which it normally is), then this could be a big factor in your fermentation vessel decision. Additionally, stainless steel tanks are generally produced locally, so you likely won’t have to search far and wide (and pay a significant shipping fee) for this type of product. Not only are they economical, but they are also known to be a solid investment. As a metal, stainless steel generally holds its value and can be easily sold as a used vessel, as they are so common and the inter nature of stainless steel maintains it’s condition over a long time. One thing to consider as this is being written is the current economic environment and the fact that even local producers of tanks purchase steel in bulk from China, where we are experiencing higher rates.

In terms of tannin and flavor effects, this type of tank could be right for you if you don’t want to add any tannins or flavors to your already desirable wine. You can use this tank to focus and highlight the specific profiles of your fruit, knowing that the effects on the wine are due to your own winemaking decisions and not the fermentation mechanism. Lastly, the shape, taper, valve and door placement can vary by tank—essentially allowing you to produce a custom tank for you winemaking or fermentation goals. Since you will have this tank for a very long time, be sure to confirm that the vessel is the shape and taper that you’d wish before you make your purchase.

Wood Tanks

Wood tanks can be a nice addition to the winery, while also adding beneficial sensory properties to the wine.


Like stainless steel tanks, wood tanks are also very common. However, there are many components of wood tanks that make them almost a different species than stainless steel tanks (Crush Brew). For example, wood tanks add tannin to wine, which generally produces a different texture, an oak-driven flavor and aroma—a profile sought after by many, particularly for red wines. Wood also has an insulating property that keeps fermentations warmer—this can be a good thing, but close temperature control must be monitored.

Unlike stainless steel tanks, wood tanks are generally more difficult to clean and maintain. Since the surfaces of wood tanks are textured and porous, wine soaks inside of the wood. This can be detrimental, as tiny microbes can harbor within the grains of the wood, thus requiring that these vessels need constant time and attention as it pertains to the cleaning and storing process. This also goes for the color of the wine. A winemaker may consider that if your vessel is “a red wine tank once, it is always a red wine tank.” When storing wood tanks, you must both sanitize the tank and hydrate it so that it doesn’t dry out before you use it next. It’s also helpful to keep in mind, both financially and environmentally speaking, that wood tanks are used for decades, but if you are looking for the sensory impact of new wood, that will only be obtained within the first 2 to 3 years of use. Lastly, unlike stainless steel tanks, wood tanks are generally not produced locally, and the shapes of the tanks are generally cylindrical. 
Inside perspective of an oak fermentation tank. The interior of wood tanks require special care and maintenance, otherwise the porous surface of the wood can harbor unwanted microbes.

Concrete Tanks

Concrete tanks are an unconventional, older type of winemaking material that has recently made a comeback in the United States (The Press Democrat). Although winemakers in Europe have been utilizing concrete to make wine for centuries, winemakers in the US are beginning to once again appreciate the mineralistic nature of concrete tanks and the gradual flow of oxygen into the wine. A unique property of concrete tanks is their porous nature, which allows small amounts of oxygen to enter the tank and the wine during the fermentation process. In terms of temperature, concrete slowly warms and also slowly cools to create a more gradual fermentation process. Another common benefit to using concrete tanks is to get a representation of the wine itself, and not added character from oak. This would make it comparable to stainless steel, but with a different perspective. (Seattle Magazine).

Concrete tanks can be made in a variety of shapes, to accommodate various winemaking or aesthetic preferences. (photo courtesy CBC)

However, due to the concrete tanks’ porous nature, sanitation can be quite difficult. A potential drawback to concrete tanks is the challenge of the wine pigment remaining in the concrete vessel and the ability to switch back and forth from red or white wine, similar to wood tanks. (Seattle Magazine). Another common drawback to using concrete tanks is the fact that the vessel can be cracked due to the temperature of the liquid inside during fermentation or cleaning.

Like stainless steel tanks, the shape and taper can vary by tank, and because of the nature of concrete, there are many forms and varieties of concrete tanks now being produced. So it is important to think seriously about the shape and taper before making any purchase. In terms of price, concrete tanks can be on the more expensive, and harder to sell as a used vessel.

Amphorae

Another even older method of winemaking that has made a recent comeback is the use of amphora tanks (BK Wine Magazine). Throughout history, amphora tanks were made out of clay and buried in the ground during wine fermentation to protect the wine from oxidation. It is worth noting that while this was a way to protect wines from oxygen, if that is the main goal, there are other ways today for better oxygen protection (stainless steel, for example). They are regularly hailed as one of the most ancient and natural methods of winemaking. These tanks are made in a variety of different sizes.

A trio of amphorae. In ancient times a clay amphora was commonly used to ferment and store wine. Often times the amphora would be buried in the ground for support or temperature control. (photo courtesy Australian and New Zealand Winemakers)

A drawback to using amphora tanks is the intensive labor required to produce wine this way, the limited ability to include doors and valves, and also the challenge of staving off oxidation (while this was a great method of of preventing oxidation in the past, there are now other more secure methods).This method may limit the amount of wine you’re able to produce and labor fees may be high. Furthermore, generally there is a very small market for these types of tanks in today’s modern world, but it is always helpful to see where we’ve been before you decide where you may want to go.

In conclusion, there are great options of fermentation vessels to choose from when producing wine, but depending on the various components of each type of vessel, there will be one that best suits you and your wine. To ultimately choose what type of tank you’ll trust your wine to ferment within, it could be helpful to make a list of priorities for both production and wine taste and then find your best vessel from there, and even to make a sketch of the tank and accessories you would like before contacting your supplier.


https://gravitywinehouse.com/blog/wine-production-fermentation-vessels/



Mark Your Calendars for the WIN Expo
16 November, 2018

Mark your calendars! Gravity Wine House will be attending the WIN Expo in Santa Rosa on Thursday, December 6th.

We invite you to swing by booth #506 for all of your custom crush needs and are looking forward to seeing you there!

Gravity Wine House will attend the WIN Expo in Santa Rosa.

Title Name Email Phone
General Manager Jacob Quint jacob@gravitywinehouse.com 541-282-3466
Production Coordinator Lindsey Svendsen lindsey@gravitywinehouse.com 707-545-6670