American Wine Project &

American Wine Project 'Rivals' Wisconsin White 2020

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Press 4 White • March 2024 Direct Press Selection

Erin Rasmussen founded the American Wine Project in 2018 as a way to explore winegrowing and winemaking in the Upper Midwest after living and working in Napa pursuing a winemaking career. Erin finished her studies in winemaking and viticulture at Lincoln University in New Zealand in 2012. The current winery home was established in 2019 in the former high school Tech Ed building.

The Rivals is 100% LaCrosse, an american hybrid grape that is early ripening and cold hardy, perfect for northern climates. The grapes come from the Three Branches Vineyard in Iowa County and Possum Ridge Vineyard near La Farge, Wisconsin. It is fermented in barrel and aged on lees for 22 months. Erin states that, “she loves LaCrosse because, like Chardonnay, she thinks of it as a blank canvas for winemaking.” Her goal was to make a lush, rich, creamy style wine with a squeeze of lemon in the same family of white wines from Jura, Savoie and Austria.

I’d have to agree with Erin. This definitely occupies a similar style to my favorite lush and opulent wines from Jura, Loire, and Savoie. On the nose notes of white florals, creme, and stone fruit lure you in to be met with a palate full of bursting stone fruit, salinity, creme, and lanolin with a medium body reminiscent of Chenin Blanc. Jeremy Hernandez

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