Californian Artisanal: Michael Cruse and Cruse Wine Co.

Michael Cruse was born and raised in Northern California and prides himself on producing wines that are unabashedly Californian and inherently delicious.

Michael created Cruse Wine Co. in 2013 as an opportunity to showcase fruit-driven and satisfying wines that were fresh and pleasurable, but still remained serious at the same time. The roots of the North Coast run deep with Michael, so he chose to focus on sites within Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Contra Costa Counties to create these special wines.  The one thing he didn’t want to do was to create another Pinot Noir or Cabernet, instead he found inspiration in varieties such as Valdiguié, Tannant, Carignan and St Laurent.

Michael is a believer that sparkling and pétillant-natural (Pét-Nat) wines are the true lens into the vineyard and its place. Crafted from single-vineyard plantings of Valdiguié and St Laurent, the pet-nat’s are produced from grape juice only with nothing else added.  They have a higher carbonation than most, typically around 6 bars of pressure,  and with 6 grams or below of residual sugar.  Finished alcohols are in the 11.0-11.5 range.  The wines are also disgorged, so they are bright, clean and show great purity.

“…clear and bright white gold color, a true blanc de noirs to the eye. The nose is youthful and exotic with melon, fig leaf, sweet basil, and spice. The mousse is powerful with a very fine, high acid palate. It finishes salty and mineral. A serious and refined Pét-Nat.”

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