If you find yourself at a crossroads, more specifically at the intersection of Highway 29 and Foothill Boulevard in Calistoga, California, make no hesitation about taking the path that leads you into Tank Garage Winery. Situated at what is considered the “Gateway to Calistoga,” Tank opened for business in May 2014 inside a 1930’s vintage auto garage and gas station. Tank is owned by Jim Regusci of Regusci Winery and T-Vine Cellars and James Harder, also of T-Vine Cellars and James Cole Winery.
Outside you’ll find two vintage gas pumps branded with Tank’s slogan “Never Dream Alone” and definitely hailing from ancient times – the amount owed doesn’t even register to the left of the decimal point. On a nice day, the large bay garage doors will be open for what is truly a breath of fresh air on the California wine scene. Inside you’ll find gas station nostalgia, the obligatory tasting bar, a vintage pinball machine and a collection of “Never Dream Alone” logoed merchandise for sale including hats and T-shirts. You’ll also find some one-of-a-kind electric guitars made out of empty gas cans with a price tag of $400 each.
But the coolest part of Tank Garage Winery is just a few steps past the candy-apple red classic Indian motorcycle and behind gold lame curtains. Behind those curtains you are instantly transported to a time of bootleggers and Prohibition. The speakeasy themed room is decorated with black-on-black crushed velvet wallpaper, plush, golden high-back cushioned bench seats, a glittery chandelier and black-and-white photographs depicting various smuggling and gangster scenes. Tank plans to use the room for private events and for wine club members.
Tank produces small lots of wine – 150 cases or less and they are mostly varietal blends – the only exception is a pinot noir called Saint Jimmy, named for a bootlegger who is depicted on the label (who has a strong resemblance to Christopher Moltisanti, if you are a Sopranos fan.) The bottle labels are a nod to the throwback history of the 1920’s and 1930’s and the wine names are unique and catchy. Most of their wines retail for upwards of $30 to $60 per bottle. They do not distribute other than from their tasting room and to wine club members, so if you like it you better buy it!
The vintage flight lets you sample four of their wines for $20:
2013 Dive Motel is a light and crisp white blend of 80% Pinot Blanc, 10% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon. Only 140 cases were produced.
2011 Never Dream Alone is a red blend featuring 90% Tempranillo and 10% Zinfandel. Production was 152 cases.
2012 St. Jimmy is 100% Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley and 150 cases were produced.
2011 Not Fade Away is another red blend with 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 6% Zinfandel, and 2% Petite Sirah. A small lot of 92 cases were produced.
Tank Garage Winery is located at 1020 Foothill Boulevard in Calistoga, California but if you aren’t headed to the Left Coast anytime soon to visit, you can follow on Instagram and Twitter (@tankwinery). Join their Tank Made Wine and Lifestyle Club and receive invitations to exclusive events, shipping savings, and 10-20% discounts on wine and merchandise. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.