2015 New Avalon Filigreen Apple/Grape Cider (500ml)
Region: Anderson Valley < CA + Avalon < Colorado
Grapes: Pinot Noir + Apples
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Demeter certified biodynamic farming (apples) and certified organic farming (grapes); whole-fruit pressed; zero additions, not even SO2; unfined/unfiltered ; 6.8% ABV
Winemaker: Lance and Anna Hanson
Jack Rabbit Hill is a certified organic/biodynamic farm located in western Colorado’s North Fork Valley, near the town of Hotchkiss. Here, Lance and Anna Hanson tend 18 acres of grapes, sheep, and cattle and also make wine, spirits and now hard cider. The couple, who started out in 2000 as a certified organic farm, and got into biodynamic farming in 2006, likes to say that, “we have our noses in the dirt as much as in the glass, because all great beverages start with clean growing practices!” They don’t grow apples but instead buy heirloom varietals from the biodynamic Filigreen orchard in Anderson Valley, CA, which they press whole fruit – skins, seeds, and all – then add in the pomace from their own pressed Pinot grapes and ferment it all together, adding no so2, yeast, sugar, etc. Nothing. The whole-fruit vs. juice point is why this cider is more complex and wine-like – and more compatible with food – than most ciders. Because most producers first press the whole fruit to make juice and then ferment the juice to make cider, resulting in less dimension, texture and less of the good-for-you antioxidants from the skins and seeds. A beautiful amber color, this tastes more like Pet’Nat than apples. Softly sparkling and lightly honeyed, its slightly salty note and touch of tannin make it an amazing pairing for Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvres and leftovers.