Fruit/Site: 100% Arkansas Black from Williams Orchard in Flint Hill: 40% from 2019, 60% from 2020. Cider is not allowed to make note of vintage on labels, so we’ve denoted years with roman numerals.
Williams Orchard has operated for more than a century. Gravelly loam of granitic gneiss, 650’ elevation. Conventional sprays utilized when needed.
Season: This is the beginning of a perpetual cuvée, an attempt to mediate the (sometimes wildly) variant Virginia vintages and combine the depth of aging with the energy of the most recent year’s fruit.
Fermentation/Development: Fruit was left in bins to further concentrate outside in the orchard for one month after harvest.
Based on vintage character, a varying portion of the apples ferment on their skins from seven to twenty four days before being pressed to finish in poly tanks and glass demijohns.
Reserve cider ages untopped in a single 425 L acacia barrel. At bottling, a portion of this base is blended with still-fermenting cider from the current harvest to finish in bottle. The remaining portion of young cider then tops up the acacia barrel to refresh the solera.
Bottles age sur lattes for 10 months before being riddled and disgorged by hand.
Tasting: Thyme, apricot, lemongrass