It’s Cider week in Seattle! At Wine World & Spirits, we have a huge selection of Cider. This week, on Wednesday 9-10-2014 night at our Growler Bar, we will be hosting Dragon’s Head Cider and AlpenFire Organic Hard Cider for a tasting. Come join us from 6-8pm this Wednesday (and every week), for this tasting.
At Dragon’s Head Cider, we believe in producing high quality hard ciders with a traditional approach, which means you, will never find us using apple juice concentrate or adding artificial flavors to our ciders. We keep it simple. Press high quality apples and pears, ferment the juice, and put it in a bottle.
Dragon’s Head Farm is home to over 1,500 cider fruit trees, as well as our production facility. We believe one of the keys to creating great cider is to have control over the entire process. For this reason we do the pressing, fermentation, blending and bottling all right here on the farm.
Named for the dragon that guards the apples of immortality in the Garden of Hesperides, Dragon’s Head Cider was founded in 2010 on Vashon Island, Washington.
Our Manchurian Cider is made from a blend of apples, but features the unique characteristics of the Manchurian Crabapple. This petite yet bold apple imparts flavor and dimension to cider on a scale much larger than its size predicts.
Our Pippin Cider is hand crafted from Newtown Pippin apples, one of the oldest American apple varieties. A favorite of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, the Newtown Pippin apple has an exceptional balance of flavors to make a bright and delicious single varietal hard cider.
Our Wild Fermented Cider began as an experiment that turned out just lovely. Rather than carefully selecting a yeast strain for the fermentation, a wild ferment uses the natural yeasts present on the apples. You never know exactly how it will turn out. This batch worked out quite nicely and we’re excited to share it with you.
Our Perry features a blend of heirloom pears as well as seedling pears unique to Vashon Island, planted by homesteaders around 100 years ago. Subtly sweet and soft, it is the perfect beverage for a celebration.
All of our ciders are lightly effervescent and pleasantly dry.
Like many young Washingtonians we discovered hard cider during visits to Canada where the drinking age is 19. While in college we discovered a small wine shop that imported French ciders, they were a revelation. That was the 70’s and we’ve toyed with the idea of making hard cider ever since. In 2001 we got serious and went to see how it was being done in the cider areas of England, France and Spain. The encouraging thing was that a lot of the production was done on very small scale, the discouraging thing was that we needed to plant a true cider apple orchard to make The type of cider we loved. We had always assumed we could use the bounty of apples here in Washington State.
Shortly after we returned home we heard that WSU was offering a class at Mt Vernon taught by English Cider master Peter Mitchell. We took advantage of that wonderful opportunity and as soon as the class was over placed an order for 900 French and English cider variety trees. We spent the next year clearing and preparing our land. In 2003 we planted our trees and in 2008 we had our first harvest.
Our orchard was certified organic in 2005 and in 2009 we were certified as organic processors. Alpenfire (Wildfire) was the first organic cidery in Washington State.
Why Go Organic?
To us there is no option. The thought of using products that would potentially damage ourselves, our watersheds, the wildlife and everything we care about most is unimaginable. We prefer to work inside the limitations that organics impose, knowing that we are doing our part to create the kind of future we want for our family and planet.
Making cider with organically grown fruit assures us that we are not taking part in the tremendous overuse of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides happening around the world. The additional attention we are required to give to our orchard just keeps us in touch with all the amazing paths of nature out there each day.