Michigan keg wine is making its debut in Illinois this week at the newly opened Farmhouse in Chicago. Farmhouse, partnering with Fresh Coast Distributors, is offering house white and red wines on tap from Domaine Berrien Cellars in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
As the first Illinois restaurant to offer Michigan wine by the keg, owners TJ Callahan and Ferdia Doherty are pioneers of kegged local wine, the next logical step following the popular local food movement along with the trend towards local craft beers and spirits. "We wanted to find the best local wine to offer on tap and were impressed with the artisan juice Wally is producing at Domaine Berrien. We went through several barrel tastings before we decided on Domaine Berrien's Marsanne and Merlot to feature as our Farmhouse White and Farmhouse Red," says Doherty.
The Domaine Berrien wine is brought to Farmhouse via Fresh Coast Distributors in 20 liter disposable KeyKegs which when tapped, do not allow air to enter the container, keeping the wines fresh for months versus days in a traditional bottle. The KeyKeg also offers a reduced impact on the environment because of its recyclable components while eliminating the need for a return trip to the winery for refilling as needed with stainless steel kegs. "We're excited to partner with Farmhouse on their keg wine project and expose Chicagoans to Michigan wine. Our Midwestern, lake-influenced terroir is unique and we're producing excellent wines just across the water from one of the best food cities in the world, certainly a great pairing."
Farmhouse is a Midwestern tavern featuring Midwest beers, wine and spirits and locally sourced seasonal fare from Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana like venison beer bratwurst, stuffed pasties and a boneless short-rib sloppy joe. The tavern will also feature house made sodas, catsup and chips.
Photo by Til Westermayer