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Sugarloaf started with two friends who shared a simple dream: to reimagine the conservative business-to-business model of winemaker custom crush studios.

The idea for Sugarloaf Wine Co. was born from our experiences as winemakers, crushing fruit at cooperative facilities in the area. We were frustrated with standards of service, inefficient operations, complex reporting processes, unpredictable pricing for winemaking supplies, and the logistical challenges of wine movement from crush to barrel to bottle to storage. And then, we had to tackle sales and marketing for our wines. The opportunity was clear: The winemaking community needed a new kind of custom crush facility with a playground of elite equipment, a community tasting room, better service and the right location.

Building our Dream Custom Crush Studio

With the help of a few investors and some real estate juju, we found the perfect home for our dream custom crush studio in 2016a property with stunning mountain views that had ample room for a community crush facility, a tasting room, outdoor entertaining and a vineyard. We spent the next two years building Sugarloaf Wine Co.’s crush operations, centered around customer service, quality, accessibility and process efficiency, leveraging the latest technology for our winemaking services. Sugarloaf Wine Co. was officially established in 2016, and The Crush Studio at Sugarloaf crushed our first vintage of 536 tons for 12 clients that year. 

Our goal was always to offer our member wineries more winemaking services and better services than a typical custom crush studio. Once our first vintage for clients was aging in barrel, we began the second phase of construction at Sugarloaf focused on wine hospitality services, including a wine bar-style tasting room lounge, commercial kitchen, and public and private event spaces.

Investing in People at Sugarloaf Custom Crush

In addition to state-of-the-art winemaking equipment and hospitality facilities, we invest in our people. As winemakers, we recognize the importance of having experienced cellar staff supporting each member winery’s individual needs. Coupling employee benefits and a positive culture with the opportunity to vinify about 30 different grape varieties from 40 appellations each vintage, Sugarloaf attracts and hires some of the best cellar managers and workers in the business. We’re all serious about winemaking, but we have fun while doing it.

Creating a Dynamic Business to Support Custom Crush Clients

Our modern barn-style facility sits on 15 acres at the base of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, just east of Santa Rosa, California, on the historic Highway 12 wine road, the gateway to Sonoma Valley. The Crush Studio at Sugarloaf Wine Co. has a crush capacity of 2,000 tons, which allows us to serve around 30 boutique winemakers each harvest. The Wine Lounge at Sugarloaf Wine Co., which features a tasting room serving flights, glasses or bottles of small-batch wines from select member wineries, is open five days a week by appointment, and walk-ins are welcome. Our private events facilities include a commercial kitchen, three meeting rooms, a grand hall and three lawns.

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