About the wine
100% Riesling directly pressed and spontaneously fermented in stainless steel tank. Unfined, unfiltered, minimal SO2 at bottling. 11%ABV
From Nathan on this vintage: "The 2021 but was an intense year, lots of disease pressure, very wet and long season. Without a doubt the most challenging vintage experienced. I feel like we pulled off a miracle with the level of quality we’ve achieved."
The Producer: Nathan Kendall
Like a chef sourcing local ingredients, Kendall focuses on Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and bubbly—cool climate varietals perfectly suited to the Finger Lakes. With a gentle hand, he guides the grapes through long spontaneous fermentations and extended lees aging, allowing the fruit to express itself fully. The result? Wines with a true sense of place, shaped by the land rather than the hand of the winemaker. Minimal intervention, maximum terroir.
The following was a profile written on one of Nathan's fascinating side-projects, "Chëpīka" executed with sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier. The conceptual background could also be applied to these "Nathan K" wines as he's firmly working within the deep tradition of FLX wines.
In 1867, at the second world’s fair to be held in Paris (entitled Exposition Universelle), the ‘wines of the world' (nearly all French) were tasted and given prizes and, to the public’s shock and awe, a sparkling wine from the Finger Lakes of America’s northern border with Canada was given honorable mention, the first wine this side of the Atlantic to have ever traded blows with the vaunted concoctions of Champagne, Bordeaux & the rest. This wine – believe it or not – was a sparkling masterpiece crafted from the North American hybrid (Vitis Labrusca x Vitis Vinifera) Catawba, grown on the shores of Keuka Lake in Hammondsport. In the next several decades, sparkling wines reared from the Catawba & Delaware grapes of the Finger Lakes would continue to garner a world-beating reputation, earning prizes at wine fairs throughout Europe, including a top prize in Vienna in 1900. Fast forward nearly 150 years, and this seemingly buried history has become part of the basis of one of the most exciting American wine projects we’ve seen: Pascaline Lepeltier & Nathan Kendall’s chëpìka. Begun in 2016, chëpìka – whose name derives from the Lenape language of the Delaware tribe meaning root, and “aims to pay tribute to the history of northeastern America, the presence of Native Americans and the wild American grapes growing in this region” – brings this very specific FLX Catawba-and-Delaware sparkling wine history into the specific viticultural present. Working with a longtime, certified-organic vineyard of Catawba and Delaware grapes on (you guessed it) Keuka Lake, chëpìka produces ancestral method sparklers (pét-nats, whereas those 19th-century bubbles were made according to the Champagne Method) in addition to a still-expression of the classic New England (often table-) grape, Concord. Though this project and these wines are conceptual to the max, they are unpretentious in their literal presentation – bottles of easygoing bubbles adorned with minimalist labels whose 5 vertical stripes represent the 5 Finger Lakes. In short: they do not require some rigorous headspace to be won before your nose, palate, gut & imagination can fully enjoy them. They’re just downright delicious & unique FLX wines that bring a thrilling historical point of view to the present’s edge.
More from Nathan Kendall
"Curated wines from small producers"
Additive free wines made in accordance with nature
Available for shipping, delivery or pickup
Serving natural wine lovers since 2006