Making Great Ciders
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Washington state is home to more than 35 cider producers. Marcus Robert is a fourth generation Yakima Valley farmer; he also happens to be the cider operations manager and cider maker for Tieton Cider Works. We had the chance to visit with Robert at a recent cider tasting event and asked him what it takes to make a really good cider these days.
ROBERT: Well, first you have to start with the fruit, and it has to be really sound fruit, and we actually grow about 55 acres of some specialty bittersweet, bitter-sharp and heirloom fruit; and that’s really where it begins. And then it’s a process of cultivating and good fermentation, good blending, and good bottling.
Robert says good cider can be made using just everyday apples, but it really takes some of those great apples he mentioned to make great ciders.
ROBERT: It’s the difference between making a wine from Thompson seedless and making a wine from cab sauv. And so that’s really what we’re going for - are those subtleties in the beverage there.
And as far as where he sees the state’s cider industry being in five to ten years.
ROBERT: Where I would like to see it is just another mainstream - not necessarily an alternative to wine or beer - but just another mainstream beverage that people order on a regular basis.
On Monday Robert will talk about the grassroots beginnings of Washington’s cider industry.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.