Grand Tasting : NV Reserve Cask (LC19) Demo Series Brut Nature, 2022 CWC Rancho Chimiles Sparkling Valdiguie Extra Brut, 2019 Sparkling Tradition Brut Nature, 2018 Rose Sparkling Tradition Extra Brut
Gala Dinner : NV Reserve Cask (LC19) Demo Series Brut Nature, 2017 Ultramarine Charles Heintz Blanc de blancs Brut Nature, 2017 Ultramarine Rose Extra Brut
The story starts from the time when Michael Cruse was working as an assistant winemaker at Merryvale Vineyard in Saint Helena, Napa Valley. One day, he found a champagne making method book written by Jules Weinmann published in the early 1900s.
The book contained the latest champagne making method of the 1900’s and it motivated Michael to start studying sparkling wine making method based on his background knowledge of majoring in microbiology.
Generally, champagne making methods are more complicated than still wine, and champagne making techniques are skilled after a long year of trial and error. Despite complexity Michael continued the traditional champagne making method rather than following the latest technique. Eventually, Michael found a perfect balance between the science and tradition by sharing thoughts with numerous champagne makers such as Marie-Noelle Ledru, Jerome Provost, Anselme Selosse and Alexandre Chartogne of Chartogne-Taillet. Still, Michael operates a traditional saccharometer to measure the sugar content or a microscope to count yeast and bacteria cells to make the flawless wine.
Not only making sparkling wine by champagne method, but Michael also continues his journey with Pet-Nat. He noticed that the California winemakers often feel difficulties making Pet-Nat, which inspired him to make the new standard of well-made Pet-Nat.
He hopes that one day the California Pet-Nat may be an alternative to traditional champagne with reasonable price and high quality. His sincere effort of shorter maturation and simplified wine making process of Pet-Nat will lead the new wave in wine history.