The story behind

The Crush

Ontario’s First Custom Crush Winery

Niagara Custom Crush Studio

A Community of Winemakers Under One Roof

The History

Excitement is brewing for wine lovers and winemakers in Ontario, with the launch of the first community wine production and experience center of its kind. 

Imagine a tasting room where you can taste wine from multiple, independent local winemakers and even see the winemaking in action on site. 

The Niagara Custom Crush Studio – also known as the Crush – promises just that at their newly acquired location. The current Stoney Ridge Estate Winery property, the site of one of Niagara’s first wineries, will be extensively renovated and expanded to accommodate a community of winemakers under one roof. 

The Vision

Winemaking is a capital intensive process, which makes it difficult for many talented winemakers to build their own dedicated production and retail facility. As a result, dozens of wineries in Niagara are currently ‘virtual wineries’ who have access to premium vineyards and winemaking talent, but rent or borrow production facilities from other wineries due to capital constraints. Many virtual wineries do not have their own tasting room or retail space, posing barriers for wine lovers who want to access their wines. The Crush is backed by a group of established investors who are able to shoulder the up-front costs that many winemakers cannot afford on their own.

“I started The Crush so that other winemakers can benefit from the same opportunities I had: a great production facility as well as a way to reach consumers directly through a retail and tasting room experience,” says Graham Rennie, Founder and CEO of the Crush. Rennie’s background includes over 35 years in the investment management business and ten years as vigneron and proprietor of Rennie Estate Winery. Rennie Estate Winery operated as a virtual winery through the Malivoire Wine Company facility, and is now one of the founding Crush wineries.

At the Crush, virtual wineries can easily access winemaking facilities and retail exposure to allow them to focus on their craft and passion. The expanded, purpose built facility at the Crush will include space for a full suite of production equipment, an appassimento drying room, an on site bottling and storage facility, as well as the latest in oversight technology to monitor each step of the process.

“This is a project that many people in the Ontario wine industry have been waiting for, and it’s finally becoming a reality,” says Marco Piccoli, an accomplished winemaker and COO for the Crush. Piccoli has over 27 years of experience as a winemaker, and witnessed the rapid growth of Niagara’s wine industry in recent decades. “We are able to offer a ‘forever home’ to high quality, independent winemakers, and at the same time, help them connect directly with wine lovers through an exceptional on site experience center.”

"A Community of Winemakers for a Community of Wine Lovers"

- Marco Piccoli -

Winemaker and COO of The Crush

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