Mike Kone and Maura Cooper aim to put San Benito County wines in the spotlight.
After about a year of construction delays, Crave Wine Company It opened on January 6th, following a well-attended soft opening and a short series of ticket events. Founded by Pour Decisions Taproom and Mad Pursuit Brewing Company, Hollister’s welcome addition to the local beverage scene on San Benito Street, Crave owners Mike Kohne and Maura Cooper produce and produce in San Benito County. We are determined to shine the spotlight on the best wines sourced.
Glad at the complications behind him, Kone and Cooper amassed a clientele through those who kept Crave’s ideas alive by joining wine clubs and providing any help they could. On a recent busy night, one of the county’s premier winemakers stepped behind the counter to help pour.
“The response was really great,” says Cooper. “We have already met so many wonderful people and have been supported by so many friends. We’re turning into a cool little community.”
Now that we’re officially open, we can more easily host themed events, or invite winemakers to discuss wines as part of our program every Thursday. Such was the case when they got together on January 26th for an event titled Old World vs. New World.
“The difference between old and new world wines is a never-ending topic,” Korne said ahead of the event. Then we do the same with Bordeaux: Left Bank and Right Bank of Bordeaux, Bordeaux Blend from Argentina, and Bernardus from Carmel Valley.
Our next event, scheduled for February 2nd at 6:30pm, will focus on Santa Lucia Highlands-based CR® Winery, offering 2020 Albarino, 2020 Chardonnay, 2021 Pinot Noir, 2018 Pinot Noir, 2020 Take GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre). ). Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through his website on Crave.
Crave also has three wine clubs focused on different interests.
The first is the “Crave Club” ($44.99 for two bi-monthly) containing the latest and most unique finds.
“This is our frequency club and everything is line price,” says Kohne. “We hope that people will come to the store and hang out with us and try different things.”
The second club is ‘Atlas’ (6 bottles for $199.99, 3 times a year) with a mix of local, national and international wines.
“I’d probably have a few bottles from California,” he said.
The third club is for wine lovers in San Benito County. “20” ($114.99 for 3 or 4 bottles, quarterly) highlights wines produced or sourced within 20 miles of Hollister.
“It’s an old CB radio talk play, ‘What’s your 20? Where’s your location?'” he said. Mostly San Benito, preferably from the Santa Lucia Islands, the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Monterey Bay.”
Wines offered by Crave Wine Company
2021 Chai Master Wheeler Vineyard Chardonnay – Supplied by Maître de Chai of Berkeley Harvested from 40-year-old vines at the Sylhet Family Vineyard in San Benito County, this unfiltered Chardonnay has notes of raspberry jam and a delicate, fleeting palate. The tannins are light, slightly dusty and the finish is long, lingering and smooth. “When we started sourcing wine here for Crave, we got the cabs they do from Carmel Valley vineyards that were planted in the late ’60s,” Cohn said. “Then we saw they started researching fruit here in San Benito, and of course we jumped at it.”
2021 I. Brand & Family Arnies – Owned by Williams Selyem in Healdsburg, Vista Verde Vineyards outside of Piscienes is the source of the grapes used by master winemaker Ian Brand. With floral notes and a refreshing citrus flavor and wonderful acidity, it’s so light and delicate that you’ll want to pair it with something that’s not overpowering, perhaps blueberry jam or shortbread cookies spread with camembert cheese.
2021 Lime Cellars Sangrantino – Naturally fermented in open-top fermenters followed by 9 months maturation in neutral oak, this wine is also sourced from the Sylhet Family Vineyards, where founder Ron Sylhet favored Italian varietals. The nose is lavender and charcoal, fragrant, slightly sweet, slightly peppery on the palate, with balanced tannins. This works well with grilled mushrooms on toast with roasted garlic or good old rigatoni and red sauce.
2020 Adroit Gamay – Adroît, another wine from Siletto, is the passion project of Seabold Cellars winemaker Chris Miller. “He makes Pinot and Chardonnay at Seabold,” Cohn said. Just showing all sides of the vineyard, whole clusters of natural yeast. It has a seductive fruity aroma and a very dense body balanced by moderate acidity and light tannins. This goes well with roasted grilled chicken and root vegetables, or medium-rare Santa Maria tri-tip.
2019 Kobuza Wines Red Field Blend – Sourced from Wirz Vineyard’s original 1903 block, Kobza describes it as “a 117-year-old grape mixture of Mourvedre, Zinfandel, Rose of Peru, Murtau and the occasional Palomino cluster.” The palate is powerful and delicate, with dark chocolate and bright fruit flavors, with hints of strawberry. “Ryan really wants the vines to shine through.” I think he likes Ryan Kobza wines and this one really shines. A selection from a tasting at Crave.
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