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From The Southern Hemisphere To Edgewater, Chasing Harvest’s Journey

It comes as no surprise that the thought of good food and drink are synonymous with the Andersonville/Edgewater neighborhoods. In the last several years our neighborhood has seen significant growth in respect to dining and drinking establishments, including an online based wine company, Chasing Harvest. For wine connoisseurs city-wide, Chasing Harvest’s owners Michael and Jennifer Kush have combined their love for both travel and wine into an opportunity to offer an unique array of wines.

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Their story starts back at their first harvest in Sonoma County. Though the work provided long, hard days this did not deter Mr. Kush from wanting to learn and experience all that he could with wine. “We knew this was the work we wanted to do” stated Mr. Kush who would work in the winery’s lab on his days off, absorbing as much knowledge as he could. It was in this lab that a fellow wine enthusiast described an opportunity where young winemakers can travel to the southern hemisphere where they could work two harvests in one year, thus gaining twice the amount of wine and experience. After securing his first job in New Zealand, Mr. Kush’s employer told him the term for what he was to experience was called “Chasing Harvest”.

“It was a term I remembered” said Mr. Kush. “Years later when we started our own project as a couple of Chicagoans that travel to opposite ends of the earth to make wine, ‘Chasing Harvest’ captures a little of our store and life”.

Both Mr. Kush, a native of Lincoln Square/West Ridge, and Mrs. Kush are proud to call our energetic neighborhood home. They travel back a couple times  each year after the harvest and during holidays to share their hard work. “Our goal is to best capture the places we make our wine” says Mrs. Kush “and bring them home to share among our neighbors, friends, and family. It inspires us to do our very best because we want to share something of quality”.

Mr. and Mrs. Kush are looking forward to returning to Chicago this fall and offering two tastings in the Edgewater and Andersonville area. On Friday, November 21 at Independent Spirits Inc. and again on Friday, December 19 at In Fine Spirits.  ChasingHarvest2

“Our wine label is a bus roll and includes all the countries where Jenn and I have worked the harvest” says Mr. Kush “and we also occasionally put ‘via Chicago’ in our label because our route from New Zealand to Portugal always has us coming home through Chicago”.

Though the future is never easy to predict, Mr. and Mrs. Kush are very fortunate to work in two areas they are passionate about – Central Otago, New Zealand and Douro, Portugal. Described as diverse and epic locations, each feature very different types of wine due to their climates. Given the region’s climates, this harvest will primarily focus on Pinot Noir and aromatic whites such as Riesling. As Mr. and Mrs. Kush state “We don’t know where this life journey will take us, but for sure wine will be involved”.


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