A minimal intervention natural winery based in Grand Rapids, MI. Michigan grown grapes, crushed by foot, and native fermented!
Where the heck did you come from?
We are a side project of a wild and Spontaneous brewery, Speciation Artisan Ales. After over 10 years of making wild beer professionally and at home, Mitch Ermatinger decided to branch out to wine. After a few trips to Europe, Mitch was inspired to create native fermented orange and red wines with no added sulphites. We approach wine the same way we approach beer: there are no rules about what kind of barrels we will use, additional ingredients, acidity level, funk level, etc. We are just making the kind of wild wines we want to drink!
what does “minimal intervention” mean to you?
For Native Species, it simply means that we buy only Michigan grown grapes that were as naturally grown as possible, and ferment to terminal gravity with the yeast on the skins… without adding any yeast or sulphites to “control” fermentation. It’s damn near impossible to grow organic grapes in Michigan, so our growers use only the minimal effective pesticides, and mostly organic fertilizer.
what methods do you use to make your wine?
We source whole grapes directly from the growers, transport the grapes back to our facility, and crush them by foot. We then leave the juice to natively ferment on the grape skins. Each day the juice is on skins we punch down the grape skins that float to the top, ensuring that the volatile gases have an opportunity to escape the juice, and assisting in maximum flavor extraction from the skins. After some time on the skins, we then transfer the juice off of the skins to an oak barrel to finish fermenting and to age. We then package in clear bottles with a gravity filler when the wine is ready.
where are you located?
We are located inside of Speciation Artisan Ales, in Comstock Park, MI. More info here: Where to Buy.
How can I buy a bottle?
We are currently in the process of bottling some of the 2018 harvest, and obtaining Federal and State label approval. Once we have approval we will have a release party at Speciation Artisan Ales. We will also start a bottle club once we know how much wine we will have. To be added to the waiting list for the bottle club, visit the Contact page and shoot us an email.