2020 Civic Winery Amphora Cider Pet-Nat

2020 Civic Winery Amphora Cider Pet-Nat

Regular price $24

Region: Willamette Valley < Oregon

Grapes: Red Mutsu, Gala, Porter's Perfection, Pippen and Northern Spy apples
Winemaker/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, all apples handpicked.  Two
separate presses with different apple varieties and styles. The first
pressing was September 27, and included apples from trees near Eugene
including Red Mutsu and Gala. The second pressing was October 28, and
consisted of Porter's Perfection from Idyll Acres and Pippen and
Northern Spy from Mary’s Green Gate Farm. After settling, the juice
was racked off the gross lees into NOVUM amphorae where fermentation
began spontaneously with native yeast. Before completing fermentation,
the two juices were blended, racked off of the fine lees, then chilled
to halt fermentation. Bottled under crown cap, undisgorged, with no
added So2; zero-zero; 7.1% ABV

Civic Winery is an urban winery located in a renovated 1930’s building
in downtown Eugene, Oregon - they also have a natural wine bottle shop
in the space. Here Civic craft's their own wines, and also open up the
facility as a custom-crush for other small winemakers.  The goal of
Civic Winery is to make delicious wine from grapes (and apples!) while
adhering to full transparency throughout their winemaking process.
They source local organic and biodynamically grown fruit, and ferment
and age their wines in Oregon-crafted terracotta amphora.
Owner Craig Weicker approaches wine and winemaking with attention to
the local, natural, and organic, “the sort of values I have for food
and for what my family eats,” he says.  Also super cool and unique
here is the use of clay amphorae almost exclusively for the
fermentation and aging of the wine. And even better, the amphorae are
Oregon-made, designed by Andrew Beckham at his pottery studio,
vineyard, and winery in the Chehalem Mountains southwest of Portland.
Beckham’s Novum Ceramics is the first commercial producer of terra
cotta amphorae for winemaking and brewing in North America.

While they make mostly wine, they do make this one special apple cider
in the Pet-Nat style, also aged in amphora.  Here's what Craig says
about this fun bubbly:  "My wife’s family on her mother’s side comes
from Normandie, and they have a home in a small village that we have
visited for years. Cidre plays an important role in our Normandie
lives and is always served to begin lunch and dinner. Normandie is the
home of apple farming, cidre (they do not have the term “hard cider”)
and one of my favorite brandies, Calvados. For decades, my wife’s
family had an agreement with a farmer who took our yearly allotment of
recycled bottles and refilled them every harvest with the typical
cidre of the region- lower alcohol (around 4%), and with the
carbonation level of sparkling wine, so it had a champagne cork. This
cidre was brut, higher acid, tannic, unfiltered, refreshing, earnest,
and pleasant, with a from-the-farm taste.
I wanted to make a cider that was in the spirit of Normandie, but also
true to Civic-style- using the same approach as in my natural
winemaking. I used apples grown at organic farms, fermented
spontaneously with native yeast in amphora, without fining or
filtering, and with minimal intervention."

Bone-dry, fizzy, bright and pet-natty, this one will leave you
wondering: is it wine, or is it cider?  It falls somewhere in between,
but could easily pass as a refreshing, low-ABV wine.  Don't overthink
it, just drink it, happily, as the French do, to begin a long,
leisurely weekend lunch or any-day dinner.  It tastes like the wine
equivalent of a light but cozy sweater that you reach for in early
fall, equal parts nostalgic and electric.

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