After making his first barrel of wine in California with his brother Josh and wine maker David Tate, formally of Ridge Winery and now at Barnett Vineyards, Michael caught the bug: For a long time I'd been enjoying wine as a fan-drinking it, taking classes, attending wine dinners-but it was not until I actually started participating in the process of working with the grape, turning it into wine, putting it into a bottle, and watching it develop over time, that I really started to understand wine. And when I would give my friends a bottle of wine with my name on it, most would respond by saying: 'I wanna do that too!' It was this experience that led Michael to conceptualize and start working on the City Winery business plan in 2006.
The core target audience of City Winery-urban wine enthusiasts who desire the experience of making their own wine, but who are not going to leave their comfortable Manhattan lifestyle to decamp to a vineyard-immediately became clear. But Michael wanted to create more than just a custom crush facility. Beyond making wine, Michael also wanted to focus on the enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from sharing wine with friends, and to capture the unique social bond that occurs when communities of like-minded people gather over a bottle of quality Cabernet, while dining on a freshly-prepared meal and listening to their favorite artists perform.
That is what City Winery is about: community, creativity and culture. A vibrant, interactive space in New York where folks can not only make wine, but also meet friends new and old while indulging their passion for quality food, music, art and life. To all who enter, L'Chaim.