Region: Virginia, United States
Color/Style: Sparkling Cider
Grapes: Crab and Heirloom Apples, Vidal Blanc
59% crab and heirloom apples (Wickson, Ashmead’s Kernel, Harrison, Gold Rush, Seedling) from Morris Orchard in Monroe, VA. Clays of granitic schist, 950’ elevation. Wil Barnes, grower.
41% Vidal Blanc grapes from Bluestone Vineyard in Bridgewater, VA. Silt loam of weathered limestone, sandstone, and shale with chert fragments, 1100’ elevation. Lee Hartman, grower.
2021 was a return to the mean for an often erratic Virginia climate: with no frost damage (as in 2020) and minimal drought (as in 2019), fruit set was good and stresses more manageable. The resultant wine is fuller and riper than the lean 2020 harvest from the same sites.
A continuous fermentation carried through harvest as each variety ripened: the Vidal was direct-pressed whole cluster in a wooden basket press, settled overnight, and then racked to begin fermentation in poly tanks. Sorted apples were crushed and soaked overnight on skins, and then pressed into the same vessels. The multiple components were then blended to finish fermenting in bottle.
Bottles aged on lees for 6 months before being riddled and disgorged by hand in early May 2022. No SO2 additions were made.