|Source: Shenken News Daily|
I. Fruit/Juice. You guys are making a TON of cider. Where does your fruit/juice come from? The website lists a range of sources, including Norman cider fruit. Is it concentrate, juice, or do you have orchards (or a mixture of all three)? I know you use different blends for different products, but could you describe generally the blends you come up with for, say, your Crisp Apple and Traditional Dry (% sharps and bittersharps, % dessert, % bittersweet)
1. Where does your fruit/juice come from?
David Sipes: "We’ve been experimenting with cider making for a little over 15 years and have found that apples from different countries, including Italy and France, and certain regions in the U.S., including the Pacific Northwest, contribute to making great hard cider. It really depends on the cider that we’re looking to create as to what apples we use. For our Cider House Collection, Iceman and Strawman, and our core collection – Crisp Apple, Apple Ginger and Traditional Dry – we use a blend of Italian and French apples. Green Apple is our first year-round nationally available cider that uses American Apples. We also use American apples for our seasonals, Cinnful Apple and Elderflower."
"We found complex and unique apples from historic orchards in Italy and France. In Normandy and Bretagne, France, farmers have been growing cider apple varieties unique to cider making for hundreds of years. Unlike ordinary apples, the bittersweet apples from France used in Angry Orchard impart tart and tannic characteristics and tend to look gnarly and unattractive – serving as inspiration for the Angry Orchard name. In the southern foothills of the Alps in Northern Italy, the Aldo Adige region (or Südtirol in German) well known for wine production, we found that the flavor profile of the culinary apples is much like grapes, unique to the terroir of the region. Blending the French bittersweet apples with the Italian culinary apples creates the balance of tannin, acidity, and apple sweetness unique to Angry Orchard hard ciders like Crisp Apple and the Cider House Collection."
"Certain regions within the United States, such as the Pacific Northwest, share characteristics – rich soil, ample sunshine and water – with the apple-growing regions of France and Italy. Our cider makers found that the fruit forward, less tannic and mild acidic qualities of the juice from culinary apples from Washington State, coupled with our yeast and fermentation process created the right aroma, body and flavor for our newest Green Apple cider. American culinary apples also contributed to the creation of our limited release hard cider seasonal styles, Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple and Elderflower."