Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Hampshire's Farnum Hill Ciders Leads the Resurgence in Hard Cider

August's #WineStudio session moves from wine to hard cider featuring New Hampshire's Farnum Hill Ciders. The cider house is owned and operated by Steve Wood and Louisa Spencer and has been a leader in the resurgence of quality dry hard cider. The fruit is grown at Poverty Lane Orchards which Steve purchased in 1984 and expanded in 1998. The orchard's terrain provides similar benefits as a grape vineyard. The downward slope allows cold air to escape to the neighboring Connecticut River; whereas the rocky, mineral-rich soil and short growing season produces intenser aromas and flavors. Initially planted with Macintosh apples, Poverty Lane Orchards now consists of over 100 apple varieties that fall within four types: bittersweets (hi-tannin, hi-sugar), bittersharps (hi-tannin, hi-acid), sweets, and sharps (acid). When fermenting the apples, Farnum Hill utilizes neutral Champagne yeast that  does not overwhelm the apple character. And the final ciders are generally a blend of multiple apple varieties in order to produce the best acid/bitter balance, complexity, fruit, and astringency.The only sugar added is for dosage.

Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider ($15, 7.5%) - tart apple & yeasty nose; almost chewy apple texture changing to orange blossom honey; extremely dry; lingering finish - light tannins & effervescence.

Farnum Hill Farmhouse Cider ($15, 6.5%) - bittersweet varieties blended with Spitz and other acidic apples. The cider is tart, slight sweetness, funky palate; full mouth feel; long lemon finish.

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