Is Orchard Cider the Next Big thing?

#WineStudio is an educational program on Twitter which includes tasting and discussion of producers, grapes (or in this case apples) tourism, terroir, regional culture, food and wine matching and what all this means to wine (or cider)  drinkers.  For the month of August, I had the unique opportunity to learn about and taste several orchard ciders from Farnum Hill.

So what is an orchard cider and why was it a part of #WinesStudio?  Farnum Hill orchard cider is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented apples.  It is dry, fruity with great aromatics.  Orchard cider is made with special apples grown specifically for cider. Orchard cider  should not be confused with the sparkling stuff or the hot kind that you enjoy on a cool fall or winter day.  Instead, orchard cider, when made correctly, like Farum Hills does, has nice depth complexity and flavor and can be enjoyed on its own as a tasty alcoholic beverage or paired with food to complement a delicious meal.

At Farnum Hill, located in New Hampshire, they grow their own cider apples and then put together batches of apple that when pressed will yield 7-8% alcohol and a good balance of acid and bittersweet character along with flavor at end of fermentation.   The pressed juice is  inoculated with champagne yeast and then fermented  in tanks and/or  neutral oak barrels.  It is racked, left to mature and then blended.

I was fortunate to be able to taste 5 of Farnum Hill’s unique and delicious ciders as part of the #winestudio tasting:

Farnum Hill Farmhouse has 6.5% alcohol.  This cider is tart sweet fruity and bitter all at the same time and probably the closest to what one generally thinks of when they think of cider.  This a a good cider to start with if you are just learning about and starting to drink orchard cider and is a great cider to drink by itself

Farnum Hill Semi Dry has 7.4% alcohol and is crisp with high acidity and a long clean aromatic finish.  This would be a great cider to pair with food.

Farnum Hill Extra Dry has 7.5% alcohol with noresidual  sugar.  This cider has nice complexity and is fruity but has no sweetness.  This is a wine drinkers cider.   If  you enjoy depth and appreciate complexity in your wine, I think you will like this cider

Farnum Hill Semi Dry has 7.4% alcohol and is crisp with high acidity and a long clean aromatic finish.

Farnum Hill Extra Dry Perry  has 7.2% alcohol and was the most unique of the ciders we tasted and the hardest to describe.    This cider is made from pears and has zero sweetness.  It has some floral notes and is very unique but in a good way.  I keep drinking it to see if I could explain its flavor and before I could come up with a good profile it was gone.

Living in San Francisco there are a lot of hot trends especially with the developing tech scene here and the abundance of hipsters and money floating around.   Being located in California and close to an abundance of amazing wineries, wine is a big thing but after having learned more about orchard cider and having tasted the ciders from Farnum Hill, I hope that orchard cider is the next big thing to catch on out here.

Thank you to protocol WineStudio and Farnum Hill for the opportunity to learn about and taste these amazing ciders!

 

 

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