Neu Cellars Breezy 2020

Regular price $33.00

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Winemaker: John Keller

Appellation: Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier

In late-September, the Chardonnay was hand harvested, lightly foot trod and pressed with stems into neutral oak barrel. It completed primary fermentation in 3 weeks. At this time, freshly-pressed, direct press Pinot Meunier was added as liqueur de tirage during bottling. The wine was then bottle aged for 5.5 months on the lees before it was disgorged by hand in mid-April.

At Neu Cellars, everything is spontaneously fermented, meaning only native yeast and native bacteria that exist on the grapes and in the cellar environment produce the wine. There are no additions or subtractions. If there were an ingredient label, it would read: grapes.

Michigan agriculture is the second most diverse in the nation next to, of course, California. There are 112 operating wineries in Michigan and the wine scene dates back to the 1800s. Like other regions in the US, prohibition set back the wine industry there and for a long time, most of the grapes grown went to the production of grape juice like Welch’s.

The Great Lakes, specifically Lake Michigan make the difference for growing here. The giant lake tempers the air along shoreline regions, protecting fall crops from harsh, early frosts, and preventing spring crops from blooming too early. Lake effect snow is important too, as it insulates vines from extremely cold temperatures. Also, the state runs between the 41st-47th parallels with a lot of vineyards on or near the 45th. Most vineyards are planted either in the south across the lake from Chicago called the Lake Michigan Shore region, or in the north on Leelanau Peninsula and Old Mission Peninsula…like Neu Cellars! It’s definitely a cool climate wine region, similar to the wine regions of Germany in grapes and style with some native grapes similar to upstate NY.