Harvest is upon us. We just finished grapes this week, and are already fermenting next year's Ship Builders Cider Moscato -- very happy emojis from the cider maker about this product, normally a very good sign. What is also great about this time of year is making cider with fresh apples, it can make a difference when working with supple fruit such as muscat grape signs.
It was a wild growing year, lots of rain to keep the plants happy and the fruit full. Then suddenly too much rain making harvest a wee bit of a stickhandle. In the middle we had some nice heat, but not so much to hurt the crop or the plant. This will likely be a historic vintage.
We think of wine as having vintages, but ciders are also of a vintage. Different years, different characteristics within the apples. At Ship Builders this matters and we love playing with the vintages.
At many cideries they use a masking agent -- a concentrate or a syrup -- and so the vintage doesn’t matter as their product’s flavour is from a chemical created in a lab and having nothing to do with the local fruit. At least some are honest enough to say on the label that no apples are included. Nobody says this product is made from this concentrate from this county, or this syrup is from this company. This is the kind of disclosure we have been demanding in our foods, but somehow alcohol gets a free ride.
You can always trust that at Ship Builders, we use nothing-but-fruit, and we ferment with intent to create a drink option you can enjoy the flavour of and take comfort in its contents.
Enjoy the fall colors, they are starting to get bright.