Kent Rosenblum opened Rosenblum Cellars back in the late 1970’s and really was among the first urban wineries in America. Rosenblum Cellars is located in Alameda California, a small island that really is a part of Oakland, it’s only a mile or so from downtown Oakland and a short skip and a jump from San Francisco.
Alameda was once a military base and while some of it still remains, Rosenblum Cellars took over part of the land that had been decommissioned. Other wineries and stores have moved in during the past year or two, but that’s almost three decades since Rosenblum opened up shop.
There’s a 2nd and more important point to the Rosenblum Cellars story and why they’re important. First, they choose to source grapes and only work with growers, in lieu of trying to buy an estate vineyard and then farm the fruit themselves. They chose to focus on Zinfandel, mostly because that what Kent was most interested in drinking and making. He made dozens of types from all different vineyards and unlike other wineries, he’d have every single one of them open (assuming he had them in stock) in his tasting room. Even today, few wineries bother to do that and it perplexes me.
Lastly, Rosenblum Cellars was among the first of a long string of wineries that were sold. Kent sold his stake, for reportedly about 30 million dollars a few years, only to open a new winery located just down the street in Alameda called Rock Wall Wine Company.
How Rosenblum Cellars fits with Uncorked Ventures: I can’t really ship the wine because it is so well known and highly distributed, but as part of a history of the East Bay wine gift basket, or something similar to that, Rosenblum Cellars could definitely be a good fit,