We bought a lifestyle block in Sunny Otaki with the dream of living self sufficiently
We planted cider apples and dreamt about making our own cider.
The timeless story of a couple wanting to live off the land, but liked to have the odd drink. So we planted cider apples, dreaming about making our own cider. Problem was, neither of us knew how to make it. So Carmen went back to university to learn how to make wine (because, cider is a non-grape wine!) and travelled the world as a travelling wine maker gaining valuable experience and insights.
Our first vintage was in our laundry. Our second vintage was in the garage. Then we had to move into a larger shed up the road in the mighty Horowhenua. We may now have a big shed, but we still do the lot. We grow the fruit, hand pick it, crush, press, ferment, bottle and sell!
Our aim is to make natural dry ciders with integrity
Without compromise, with no short cuts, and with minimal intervention. We work with what the fruit provides rather than infusing them with sugars, flavours and concentrates.
Our process deserves an appleause
We grow apples specific for their use in cider production.
They differ in bitterness or dryness of flavour. We have many different varieties, with names like Slack Ma Girdle, Knotted Kernel, Bisquet, Kingston Black….
Not many people making cider use these apples
To extract the maximum juice from the apples, they are ground up into a pulp or pomace.
The apple pulp is squeezed to extract all the crisp golden juice. 1kg of apples yields approx 750ml of juice. We feed all the leftover pulp to our cattle. Nothing is wasted.
Selected wine yeasts are added, which consume the natural sugars & produce alcohol. Fermentation takes about two weeks, meaning all the sugar has been consumed & the cider is “dry”.
The cider is racked off the solid lees, blended & transferred to a new vessel to mature. We age our ciders for around six months to allow the flavours to develop.
Finally, the cider is packaged in glass bottles and left to carbonate naturally. Let’s appreciate all the effort put into one glass of cider!
Award Winning Cider…
Discovering what proper craft cider can be