It was with a little bit of sadness that I watched the liquidation of assets at the struggling Crushpad in California in recent weeks. The do-it-yourself by-the-barrel winery was a great way to get people hands-on with winemaking. As a former client (I made my own barrel of Syrah there from the 2007 vintage a few years ago) and as a pro-consumer wine advocate, it was tough to hear how clients were being forced to pay additional fees to get the wines they had already made and paid for.
So, I was interested to hear how Crushpad Bordeaux was doing. The operation is based in the town of Bages behind Château Lynch-Bages, in Pauillac, Bordeaux. It was started in 2009 by Stephen Bolger as a partnership with the California-based Crushpad, but in April of 2012 the Cazes family of Lynch-Bages bought out the California partners and today the operation is completely separate from its U.S. namesake. And apparently thriving, growing at a 50 percent rate in its first three vintages, according to Bolger, Crushpad Bordeaux's CEO.