Please join Nathan Kendall & Pascaline at the bar for the highly-expected release of their organic hybrid project in the Finger Lakes, chëpìka!
The name, coming from the Lenape language spoken by the Native American tribe of the Delaware, means “root”. The goal of chëpìka is to go back to the roots of the wine history of the FLX region, by crafting with care wines made with the original hybrids growing around the lakes since the early 18th century. A hybridization between native American Vitis Labrusca and European Vini Vinifera, Catawba and Delaware were among the very first varieties to be used for quality wine production in Northeastern USA, after many trial to make some grapes survive with a palatable taste and a decent enough yield. They were major component of an industry of world-renowned sparkling and fortified, until Prohibition hit. After the repeal they became use mostly as table grape, juice, and mass-market sweet table wines. Yet these hybrids - with also the Concord, the Niagara, etc. - still represent today more than 70% of the planted acreage of the region, certain able to grow with little to no need of chemical products. They deserved a revival.
chëpìka aims to pay tribute to this history, by working respectfully with the land and the inner qualities of these varieties. In 2016, the first vintage came out, after Nathan found a vineyard on Keuka Lake growing organically since 1971 Delaware and Catawba. As per their history and their profile, with some bright flavors and high acid when picked early, the method ancestral imposed itself, allowing them to rely only on natural ferment without the need of additives. Everything is done by hand, from picking to sorting to riddling to disgorging. This a true, unaldurated crafted taste of the region!
The 2 different cuvées were released in 2016 and 2017 as pétillant naturel. But 2018 saw one of the most challenging vintages in the modern history of the Finger Lakes. In order to preserve the idea of nothing added, nothing taken away, Nathan and Pascaline decided not to produce any Delaware and to release the Catawba as a still rosé. When wine is produced without additives, the climate, the terroir, the variety rule! This rosé preserves all the bright, tonic, low alcohol profile of the Catawba, with delicate notes of fresh watermelon, rhubarb and damask rose. Macerated for 2 weeks days, vinified and aged in older barrel with malolactic fermentation completed without any sulfite, it is highly quaffable yet highly unique and layered rosé.
We will also pour an awesome line-up of Nathan’s wines from his label Nathan K!
Details to be announced shortly!