By W. Blake Gray on September 17, 2015: Rosalind Bordo wanted to give her husband Jonas something special last year for his 40th birthday. The wine lovers dream of owning a vineyard – but that’s too pricey.

“I really wanted him to be able to make a barrel of wine,” says Rosalind, and not from a lowly home-winemaking kit, which are generally sniffed at by wine connoisseurs.

“What he wanted to do was be involved in the whole process of making it, not just putting a label on a wine somebody had already made.”

Enter The Wine Foundry, one of several companies to have emerged in California to enable people to make their own wine.

In the past, some custom crush businesses have failed. A business called Crushpad ended up with such bad finances that customers were unable to pick up the wine they had already paid to make.

The Wine Foundry’s owners believe they have learned from Crushpad and in fact have taken on some of its employees and customers.

Stuart Ake, The Wine Foundry’s vice president of sales, claims a key difference is the contract that customers sign – the wine belongs to the client from the beginning.

Certainly the Wine Foundry, founded in 2012, has retained many of the good parts of the Crushpad experience.

The Wine Foundry has a pristine winery in southern Napa where customers are welcome to visit and take part. Its staff is good enough that several professional wineries make wine there, including Matthiasson (which makes some of the best white wines in Napa Valley) and Krupp Brothers

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