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Chateau Renaissance Wine Cellars
Erin K. Sullivan

Fruit, Lakes, and a 400 Year Old Recipe

As I sipped a gloriously flavorful Merlot at the Chateau Renaissance stand in the farmers market of Union Square in New York City, I couldn’t help but wonder what made this Merlot taste so much richer than others I have tasted.  Luckily, the staff was more than happy to indulge me in my questions.  

Originally hailing from France, the owner, Patrice DeMay realized that the climate and soil in upstate New York was very similar to that in France. After the grapes are picked, they undergo the old world method of spontaneous fermentation.  Spontaneous fermentation is when the wine is exposed to the wild yeasts and bacteria that are native to the grape growing area. Because the winemaker only uses grapes from the Finger Lakes region of New York, the wine has the truly unique and distinct taste of upstate New York.  

Fruit wines are another special product from the winery. These wines are made from the actual fruit, unlike some wineries that simply use flavoring.  Chateau Renaissance produces everything from Dandelion to Elderberry to surprisingly delicious (and not too sweet) strawberry rhubarb wines. To see a complete list of the Chateau Renaisssance wines, visit their web site.

Chateau Renaissance’s third and perhaps most original product is their Champagne.  Like their wines, the Champagne is also fermented spontaneously.  What makes the Champagne truly special is that it is made with a 400-year-old family recipe from the DeMay family in France! In fact, this old style Champagne is so extraordinary that it is against the law for other wineries to use the same grape composition, if they did not already do so prior to a certain year.  

In addition to the traditional Champagnes made by Chateau Renaissance, are their “fruit sparklers.”  These are a combination of their Champagne and fruit wine, which give an excellent burst of flavor and would be perfect for any celebration.  

Chateau Renaissance makes inspirational wine that for just a moment made me forget I was in a hectic bustling square, and transported me into a place of glorious lakes and deep brown earth.

Wine Trail Traveler article about Chateau Renaissance in Hammondsport, New York


Chateau Renaissance Wine Cellars in NYC
New York City Green Market
Union Square W and E 16th St.
New York City, New York







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