Apples from an 1890s historic homestead on Waldron Island, WA.
From winemaker, Tess Bryant: "For those of you who don’t know, [Nic and I] have been working on our little winery all year, and as we look for more organic grape sources as well as land to eventually plant on, we are taking advantage of the historical apple trees on the island we live on (San Juan) as well as neighboring islands (Waldron) and one beautiful mainland orchard near Bellingham.
The fruit is all either unsprayed or organically tended. The fruit has been picked and processed by us, with help from my cousin Annie (fruit she picked that my uncle grew is featured in the “Cuvee Annie”) and our one intern (and hopeful future employee). Everything was processed and produced without additions, and bottled as a pet nat. That is, no added sugars, yeasts, oak or sulfites at any time ever. Everything was fermented and aged in glass or stainless steel, and nothing was or will be disgorged. In addition to apples, our bottlings include pears, quince, plums, blackberry, medlar and grapes.
We are super, super proud of these bottles, and think of them more as pet nats rather than ciders: while we certainly sometimes enjoy a more bretty, oxidized, or sweet style of cider, this was not our goal here. Our goal was to capture freshness of fruit, and to feature the broad array of apple-y-ness from the different farms and orchards we worked with. Rather than focus on a particular variety of apple, we chose to try to capture what each combination of trees during any particular week was offering. We found that people have been planting apple trees for almost a hundred and fifty years here on the islands, and the fruit ripens anywhere from August to January. Each variety and time of harvest offered us something different to explore as we get to know our new home here, and we chose to embrace this broad diversity with 29 different bottlings.
Everything will be bottled before the end of 2020, and we will release them as they settle over the next nine or so months. Harvest for us started this year August 12th, and these first three cuvees represent some of the first three to bottle which, though they will continue to improve with time, we feel are extremely delicious and ready to drink now. We suggest storing them upright rather than on their side for settling and clarity, and drinking chilled."