E.Z. Orchards Willamette Valley Cidre is the culmination of 10 years effort to develop our orchard and refine our fermentation technique. We grow a selection of French, English, and Early American apple varieties. The fruit contain essential characteristics, necessary to impart structure and aroma in our Cidre. The predominant characteristics are attributed to French varieties (85% of the blend) contributing tannin for structure, fermentable sugars, and aroma. We use one low acid English variety with similar dynamics. The balance of the fruit is tart to achieve the acidity necessary to complete the structure and provide stability.
Our Cidre is fermented in the Traditional French method requiring diligent care of the fruit prior to harvest. We delay harvest allowing the fruit to mature on the tree capturing the optimal character of each cultivar. The harvested fruit is refrigerated to preserve quality, and compose the texture in preparation for the press. The fruit must first be washed and inspected to insure the integrity of the juice is not compromised by spoilage. The fruit is processed through a blade mill that cuts the apples into small pieces. Now we are able to press the milled fruit in a rack and cloth press, test the blend for balance, and transfer the juice to a stainless steel fermentation tank. We control the fermentation temperature extending the process 4-6 months to retain the subtle nuances of the fruit. The cidre is bottled before fermentation is complete this allows the bottled cidre to achieve secondary bottle fermentation. The result is a natural effervescence a complement to the individual character of our cidre. Evidence of this centuries old technique can be seen as sediment resting in the bottle.
E. Z. Orchards Willamette Valley Cidre traces its parentage to the French Cidre tradition. The authentic aroma is of orchard ripe apples, leaves, and earth. The complex flavor is of mature fruit, subtle hints of cinnamon, and nutmeg. The texture is enlivened by a gentle sparkle. At mid palate the tannin rich fruit becomes apparent, widening the flavor. Our Cidre is low in acidity giving the impression of well ripened apples there is not a bright green apple character typical of English and American cider traditions.
Serve chilled in a Champagne style glass or in a typical wine glass. Chill and cellar with the bottle standing upright, this will contain the sediment allowing you to see the gentle effervescence until your last pour from the bottle.
Our cider is enjoyed with cheese, bread, hazelnuts, and walnuts. Consider serving with fish, pork, and poultry. Enjoy with traditional preparations of European, and American cuisine. You may also serve to celebrate an event, and as an after dinner accompaniment with desert.
Kevin W. Zielinski
Interested in learning more? Several publications have rated and reviewed our E.Z. Orchards Cidre and can be found at the links below: