Our Philosophy & Methods
Terroir and Traditional Production Techniques
Our apple varieties, farming practices, soil, naturally-occurring yeast strains, climate, bees and pollinators, and dozens of other factors create unique flavor profiles in our ciders and other products. In the wine world, this is called terroir, and it includes the total environment in which a wine is produced (cider is essentially apple wine).
We like to think of wine and cidermaking as a medium through which the stories of earth and plants can be told. Due to that mindset, we want our products to be as unadulterated a representation of our crops and land as possible, so we like to take a hands-off, low-intervention approach to production by using centuries-old winemaking techniques. This means that all of our products are wild-fermented, unfiltered, unpasteurized, and unfined. We do not artificially sweeten or force carbonate and the flavors of individual products can vary slightly from year to year. We also age our products in neutral oak barrels for as long as it takes for them to develop optimal flavors.
We make all of our ciders, perries, wines, and the bases for our aperitifs once a year. Our early apple varieties start ripening in late July and harvest continues through mid-November. Within a couple of weeks, and often within a day or two, our apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and grapes are crushed and pressed into juice, which is then transferred into barrels for fermentation and aging. We tend to the orchards in the winter and spring, and bottling can occur pretty much at any time of year depending on how long a product ages. Typical aging times range from three to twelve months. We add herbs and other ingredients as they ripen and become available or we dry them for later use.
Design and Packaging
When we first started out, we decided to design and print our labels ourselves simply to save on cost, but it quickly became a pillar of what we do. Our first labels were hand-printed on a homemade letterpress, but we eventually upgraded to a 1920’s electric printing press. With a more freeform approach to our brand (read more about the evolution of our company, here), our design aesthetic changed as well. Brian loved the organic, beautifully flawed look of woodcuts and linocuts, so he began hand-carving the label designs when we launched our new brand in 2017.