If you dine at some of Cape Cod’s favorite restaurants—Alberto’s Ristorante, Scargo Café, the Naked Oyster—you might have noticed a new local name creeping onto the wine lists: First Crush Winery. Located in Harwich, the winery began operations in 2013 and started selling its first vintage last year. Combining grapes from California with an expertise cultivated through more than three decades of amateur winemaking, owner Frank Puzio has started to generate some real buzz.
First Crush may be achieving industry success these days, but its origins are decidedly homespun. Founder Frank Puzio grew up watching his grandfather making his own wine and became fascinated by the process. Then Puzio himself took up the hobby. Friends and family liked his product and wanted in on the fun, so they would join Puzio at his Yarmouthport home and pitch in.
“We called this ragtag group ‘the cooperative,’” says Puzio.
The spirit lives on today; nearly half of First Crush’s wine is sold at a discount to co-op members who participate in the wine-making process.—Sarah Shemkus
First Crush Winery, 527 Main St., Harwich, 508-737-6867