Oakland’s New Cerruti Cellars Urban Winery

The first vintage made by Tudal Winery, which includes a hand-drawn label done by John Tudal's mother.

For proof that the East Bay is turning into a hub for urban wineries, look no further than the new Cerruti Cellars, which is expected to open any day now across from Jack London Square in Oakland.

Yes, wine-making not in a bucolic, serene setting but a gritty one full of asphalt and concrete.

Nowadays, you’ll find just that at the 22 cosmopolitan wineries that make up the East Bay Vintners Alliance, whose members span Alameda to North Berkeley.

Winery owner John Tudal, holding up an old receipt from his family's produce farm.

John Tudal acknowledges that he’s taken some ribbing from his Napa Valley neighbors, where he operates his family’s more high-end Tudal Winery, about setting up shop in Oakland for his moderately priced Cerruti Cellars wines, which includes the well-known Tractor Shed Red.

But he knew this was the perfect spot for his production facility and tasting room. After all, he grew up in Alameda, where his family had a farm that grew veggies that they sold at the Oakland Produce Market, just a short stroll from his new Cerruti Cellars.

The rustic-chic tasting room and barrel room there even feature a few of his family’s old produce boxes on display, as well as stylish light fixtures made from reclaimed barrels.

The main tasting room at Cerruti Cellars.

The barrel room.

One of the charming wine displays.

When it finally opens to the public, visitors will not only get a chance to taste wines, but help make them. Tudal also hopes to add a restaurant that will emphasize food and wine pairings.

To learn more about Cerruti Cellars and the booming East Bay urban winery phenomenon, be sure to check out my story in the November issues of both Oakland and Alameda magazines.

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