12341 Irish Road New Berlin, IL | 217-488-6321
I have approached my wines for the last 8 years as if they were pieces of art that I was creating; painting with different flavors and structures to arrive at something layered by cohesive - letting the fruit tell its story, with its tannins and acids - and using yeasts and/or barrels to complete the dream. I start every season with a vision once I taste the fruit, the stems and the tendrils. Even when I am pruning, I am chewing the cuttings and looking for clues. Often, my yeast choices change throughout the growing season, as I detect different flavors that I want to enhance or downplay.
In 2011, I decided to commit to making the best wine that I could, and returned to the classroom. I have been attending University of California Davis, learning viticulture and enology from some of the finest in the industry.
Just like art on a canvas, wine can incite an immense amount of feelings and emotions. It is this passion, love, joy and inspiration that I try to capture with each bottle. It is my vision, this artisan micro-winery, which I have brought to DFV. I am excited to share DESAGACÉ with others in the near future. - Susan
We believe that we are stewards of the land, maintaining and enhancing it along the way by employing sustainable farming practices. We utilize age-old techniques, but embrace a modern scientific approach.
We employ a minimal-intervention philosophy. This care, this connection with the land was part of my legacy. My father and his ancestors understood what "green living" was before it became a popular movement. This was imprinted in my mind before I even realized what it was.
Any of you who have met us, or have even glanced at what we have been up to, know that we are a pretty geeked-out, do-it-yourself family. We do it together, with a bit of help from our friends. All of the areas and the vineyard have been conceived, developed and built by us. Our hearts and souls are in every detail, in addition to our wines. So it stands to reason that we love sharing the seasonal details of our lives with those of you who might be curious. We are happy to share this passion with others, taking what the land has to offer, and fostering a sense of belonging. The local high school Ag classes have even enjoyed time out here, learning about our vision and practices.
Our only source of water is our 100+ year old well, so we collect all of our rainwater in 10,000 gallon tanks to use in the vineyards. To conserve the water, we irrigate the vines with emitters that were developed for farming in dry conditions. We use these sparingly in a month. We maintain a cover crop between the vine rows that help us gain access into the vineyard, but doesn't burden the land. Each year as the grapes begin veraison, we need to protect the fruit from the flocks of birds, as the vineyard is surrounded by fields of corn.
All harvesting is done by hand. The quality of our grapes is the result of our attention to detail throughout the growing season. From using a specific trellising system that controls our growth and takes advantage of our growing degree days, to managing crop production, we produce a fruit that we can be confident is at its frime when it is picked. It can then be on to the wine making process were skill, science, and Susan's artistic style combine to bring you Danenberger Family Vineyards' best.
Our Centennial farm, where DFV is proud to call home, was established in the mid-1800s by my great, great grandfather, James Sullivan, and his son, Jeremiah, who came over from Ireland. The original farmhouse, although completely modernized, still graces the property. The gazebo itself is housed in the grain silo, where the crops were stored. It is fitting that hile some of our farm has a history going back to the 1800s, the remainder has a modern twist.
I understand that we have a valuable legacy to nuture with the ability to adapt and change with the future. From my great, great grandparents who came to this area and settled this land to my, to my parents, and now my children, I cherish the generations and the land that has brought me DFV.
I believe that my ancestors are looking down upon us and smiling. They may have questioned my endeavor in its beginning, but I think they are probably quite proud of us.
DFV pays tribute to my father on every bottle - the pixelated background was a picture of him that continued to astonish me every time I tried to scan it. After repeated attempts, I decided that its beauty was apparent, even if the original picture was not. Just as his image graces every bottle, his legacy is entrenched in all we do: commitment to all that is good - being ethical, moral and responsible to the land. -Susan Sullivan Danenberger