As artisanal producers we strive to make a cider of the finest quality. This labor of love starts off in the orchard where we harvest local historic cider apples. The Newtown Pippin apple was once revered internationally as a superior American cider apple by the likes of Queen Victoria, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. Queen Victoria adored the apple so much that she lowered import taxes to make them more readily available for her daily drought of cider. Benjamin Franklin was also enamored with the cider apple. He enjoyed a pint every morning with breakfast ensuring that the Newtown Pippin, known on the East Coast as the Abermarle, was a part of his daily rituals. Thomas Jefferson cultivated his own cider by including Newtown Pippin trees in a bulk of his estate orchard. As we all may know, the course of true love never runs smooth. This American cider apple almost died out with the National Prohibition Act of 1919.
Our apples come from a small area in Watsonville, California, where the Newtown Pippin was kept alive as a juicing apple. We work closely with the orchardist to insure that our apples are fully ripened, picked at the precise moment where acidity and sugar levels are optimal in the same way a winegrower watches over his grapes for that magical moment where the fruit is at its peak of perfection. The longer hang time allows for phenolic development resulting in an aromatic wine. To protect the esters carefully cultivated in this process, we ferment using lower temperatures. This low and slow method takes several months to complete rather than the commonly used hot ferment method that, while easily and quickly produced, strips the cider of flavor and requires back-sweetening with juice or artificially flavored syrups. All of our ciders are aged for an entire year as is tradition in a fine cider. This fully integrates tannins and balances acidity present in cider apples. Finally, we bottle condition rather than force carbonate for smaller longer lasting bubbles. This gives a richer texture, enhances mouth feel, and overall drinking experience. This dedication to crafting cider using traditional production methods results in a dry champagne style cider with delicate apple aroma, bright and balanced acidity with a clean finish.
Visit our tasting room in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Los Gatos, conveniently located immediately off Highway 17. We provide an intimate experience where you can meet and chat with the cider makers as well as taste our small batch ciders and country wines. We bottle less than 100 cases in total. Many batches are less than 10 gallons and exclusively sold through the tasting room. While visiting you can also join our bottle club to ensure that you never miss out. Contact us to reserve an appointment.