Rosenblum tasting room leaving Alameda

Rosenblum tasting room leaving Alameda

Michele Ellson
Rosenblum Cellars

Fans of Rosenblum Cellars’ prized zinfandels and Rhone varietals will only be able to sample the winery’s 50-plus wines “next to the docks in Alameda” for a few more months.

Rosenblum’s owners announced Monday that when the lease on their current East Bay visitors center on Main Street expires in June, they’ll be vacating their Island home of 27 years for Oakland’s Jack London Square.

The new location will offer visitors “a wealth of new food and entertainment options,” representatives for beverage giant Diageo, which has owned Rosenblum since 2008, said in a press release. The release, which called finding a new location for the Alameda tasting room “a top priority,” said its new home is “perched on the active Oakland waterfront” but doesn’t offer an address.

Rosenblum’s current location is next to the Main Street ferry terminal and across the street from Alameda Point. Jack London Square is home to a dozen eateries and bars.

The winery was opened by veterinarian-turned-vintner Kent Rosenblum in 1978 in Oakland, who brought it to Alameda nine years later. Rosenblum sold the winery to Diageo in 2008 for a reported $105 million. At that point, the winery was producing about 200,000 cases of wine a year.

Two years later, Diageo moved production of Rosenblum’s wines from Alameda to Napa as part of a cost-cutting move, a move its namesake didn’t approve of. The company also shuttered the winery’s Healdsburg tasting room, though it opened a new one there in October.

“I think this is what happens when you let bean-counters run a company,” he told Wine Spectator magazine in 2010. “I’m trying to stay positive, though. Maybe it can be done elsewhere.”

Other Oakland-based wineries include Urban Legend and Cerruti Cellars, which is across the railroad tracks from Jack London Square, Dashe Cellars and JC Cellars, whose winemaker, Jeff Cohn, once made wine for Rosenblum.