HOW WE MAKE OUR CIDER
The County Cider Company is an artisanal cider producerour ciders are made with 100% pure apple juice from locally sourced apples. And while making cider is a year-round process, it essentially begins in autumn, once the apples have achieved the perfect balance of natural sugars and acids.
COUNTY PREMIUM CIDER & WAUPOOS PREMIUM CIDER
Made with a different select blend of apples, our flagship products, County Premium Cider and Waupoos Premium Cider, are created in much the same way:
Apples are hand picked and carefully sorteddamaged or rotten fruit is removed. The remaining fruit is then stored for three to four weeks. During this period, starch is converted to sugar and flavours become naturally concentrated as the apples slowly lose some of their moisture through evaporation. Afterwards, the apples are lightly scrubbed in order to remove dirt, but not precious wild yeasts, before being milled and pressed.
In order to marry the distinct flavours of each apple variety, juice is blended before fermentation. Afterwards, it is transferred to large tanks where it ferments very slowly over a period of many months. Cidermaster Grant Howes explains: "A slow fermentation results in ciders that are rich in aroma and flavour. Speeding up the process would only strip away the qualities that make our ciders specialyou can't rush great cider. "
Eventually the cider is racked in order to separate it from the lees, the sediment that accumulates at the bottom of the tanks. Finally it is carbonated, bottled and, best of all, ready to drink.
Making our County 2000 is another story. A naturally sparkling cider, it is made using the méthode champenoise (champagne method), which means that the cider undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle. Inverted at an angle, the bottles are regularly rotated, which causes any sediment to settle in the neck. After many months this sediment is removed by a process known as dégorgement (disgorging).
First, the neck of bottle is frozen. Next, the cork is quickly removed, which causes the built-up pressure to force out the sediment. Finally, the cider is topped up with a dosage of reserved wine, recorked and left to age. It is a laborious process whose reward is a cider of superlative elegance and complexity.
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY ICE CIDER
Our most exclusive product, Prince Edward County Ice Cider is crafted from Russet, Ida Red and Northern Spy applesvarieties that do no fall when ripe, but remain on the tree through freezing temperatures.
Like grapes used to make icewine, it is this exposure to extreme conditions that causes the natural sugars within the fruit to increase and become concentrated. Hand-harvested in sub-zero conditions, the apples are pressed and the resulting nectar is fermented for about nine months. The result is an ambrosial beverage prized for its perfect balance of sweet and tart.
To learn more about County Cider Co. products check out our product listings.