By the fall of 2019, we decided that we would blend the previous vintage of ice cider with the new one. While we typically focus on making cider by the harvest season, the endless rain of 2018 made for an ice cider that had beautiful aromatics but lacked the concentration we were looking for in this dessert style cider.
We decided to wild forage apples in 2019 to cryoconcentrate for the ice cider. Late in the season, Matt Moser-Miller, Ezra, and the kids and I, filled burlap sacks with wild apples in the hills and hollows surrounding our farm and carried them out of the woods on our backs. Since the volume of ice cider is ultimately about 15% of the original juice, we needed a lot of apples. The amount of work was mind boggling but we think it was worth it.
This ice cider is a departure from previous bottlings in that the wild seedling apples contributed tannins and significant acid to the blend. They also bring a earthy, savory character that adds depth to the concentrated sweetness that defines ice cider. The net result is a decadent, luscious knock-your-socks-off mouthful of cider.
One more note: while we focus on making 100% estate grown and wild foraged ciders, when our neighbor Brian Caldwell approached us to buy some of his certified organic apples we jumped at the chance. Brian has been a pioneer of growing apples organically and has been a mentor and good friend. His apples make up 10% of this blend.
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