The Demeus project explores the realm of aromatic white grape varieties, following a rather unorthodox cellar regimen. The alchemical process is thousands of years old, but the approach is avant-garde. The resulting wines are tangibly textural and tightly wound. At first glance, they may resemble the results of oxidative vinification, but on the palate, they surprise with bitter extraction and bold flavor. They are built for years if not decades of cellar age, yet timeless in their youth.

Prima Materia

Our winemaking facility is located in the Pacific Northwest, where our ritualism is encapsulated within oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. Our destemmed fruit is neither pressed nor crushed, but rather, is gently packed into vessels as whole berries, treated with carbon dioxide, then carefully rolled to stimulate motion. In this oxygen-free environment, fermentation can span more than 100 days.

Full-berry maceration proceeds—for months at a time in some cases—in oak barrels that have been deconstructed, packed tight with fruit and juice, then rebuilt. The resulting wines are powerful with phenolic extraction, their hue a deep green-gold hue from the extended skin contact. Once a bottle is uncorked, this rare elixir will continue to blossom for up to a week as it interacts with oxygen.

The Metaphysical Stone

At Demeus, carefully selected (up to 10 pounds in weight) quartz crystals are placed in each barrel for both fermentation and élévage. Quartz occurs naturally all over the earth, and has been venerated by every culture for its ability to refract light. At once ubiquitous and mysterious, it is the substance of both sand grains and computer chips. It is silica (silicon dioxide), a material that amplifies and communicates energy, whether in the form of the oscillator in a wristwatch, the diode in a radio, the threads in fiber-optic cables, or the sequin-like photovoltaic cells found in solar panels. Just as quartz allows us to transmit messages through space via silicon wafers, it allows us to communicate through Demeus wines.

…explore the world with your mouth.

—  Alex Altshuler, Winemaker

Intoxicants & Elixirs