Neu Cellars Vitality 2020
Regular price $31.00
Winemaker: John Keller
Appellation: Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
Grape Varieties: Pinot Meunier
In early October, the Pinot Meunier was hand-harvested. 80% of the grapes were placed into sealed stainless steel tanks as whole clusters. The other 20% were lightly foot trod and pressed with stems into a stainless fusti tank to ferment spontaneously. After 2 weeks of carbonic maceration, it was pressed and blended with the 20% direct press in a neutral oak barrel. It aged for 5 months before being racked off and bottled in mid-March. Unfined, unfiltered, unsulfured.
We met John Keller in the parking lot at Third Coast Soif when he was just getting started and were instantly blown away by how unique and natural his wines tasted. John used to work in a lab at Ravenswood in CA but wasn’t into industrial winemaking so he quit and started the Neu Cellars project with his Dad. Neu in German means new, fresh, or young and all his fruit hails from the Old Mission Peninsula. In the cellar, everything is fermented spontaneously and there are zero additions or subtractions. If there was an ingredient list on the label, it would read simply– 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.