We should all really get into cider this year (if you’re not already). This one is a blend of many apple varieties including Johnathan, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Winesap, King, with a little pear and quince. It’s wild fermented (using the naturally occurring yeast) in barrel for 10 months, which gives the cider a dry richness as a backbone to the tart flavor. The cider is then bottle conditioned (meaning it’s aged in the bottle) with no sulfur.
Because cider is so tart, it’s a perfect complement to cheese – the freshness balances the salty and savory ones, like aged Gouda and sharp cheddar. Or serve with Brie, apples and pears on your cheese board. Great with light appetizers and salads. The crisp, hard cider adds a fruity component to vinegar-based dressings of all kinds.
Darek Trowbridge is one of the OG Cali natural winemakers - having made low-intervention wine in Sonoma for 20 years, way before it was a thing. In fact, he named his winery ‘Old World’ because he’s all about a return to the old world methods of his grandfather Lino Martinelli (of Martinelli wine/cider fame), who started making wine in the early 1900s with no technology or chemicals. Darek adds nothing to the wine except a minimal amount of protective sulfur before bottling. He directly farms or manages the farming for all the vineyards he works with and uses just his own feet to stomp the grapes. He doesn’t use temperature controls in the cellar and feels strongly that using only the native yeast from the vineyard is the best way to express the natural beauty in that wine.