Jacques Perritaz is the Swiss version of Johnny Appleseed. Rather than planting trees, however, Jacques protects and perpetuates the fruit heritage of the Swiss Alps by crafting organic, natural ciders. Jacques works his magic in the bucolic pastures just south of Fribourg, Switzerland, an area justly renowned for its dairy cows, cream, and cheese.
He carefully selects heirloom varieties of apple and pear from small, isolated stands of fruit trees (150-200 trees in total) that occasionally emerge from the Alpine pastures. For all his ciders, Jacques forages the organic apples and pears from a total of 150-200 trees annually. He presses the fruit and then clarifies the juice before fermenting it slowly on indigenous yeasts in stainless steel and epoxy tanks. After the juice is fermented to half of its potential alcohol, he filters the inchoate cider to remove particulates, then decants into sealed vessels to allow “ancestral” secondary fermentation. He then draws off the lees, clarifies it, and then bottles the naturally- effervescent ciders.