Patois Amherst County Cider "Bent Mountain" 2021
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- 100% unsprayed Albemarle Pippin apples, trees aged 40 and 80 years. A former commercial orchard, the family now keeps cattle that feed on the dropped apples. We picked all our own fruit.
- Bent Mountain, VA has produced apples of renown since the mid 19th century and was particularly known for their exported Albemarle Pippins.
- Sandy loam of mica and gneiss, 2900’ elevation. The soil and air drainage of this site allows for the Pippins to continue to thrive, where elsewhere in a warming Virginia climate they are highly susceptible to rot.
- After frosting out completely in 2020, these trees had the reserved energy to set a large crop in 2021. Steady, warm temperatures defined the growing season, with enough rain to maintain tree metabolism. A good year for ripe Virginia fruit.
- These older, larger tree canopies provide apples with different flavor components: the outer fruit develops high sugars and thicker, blushed skins, while the inner shaded fruit maintains acidity. We crushed the outer canopy to macerate within the direct press inner canopy for three days with gentle cap management.
- Fermentation and aging occurred in 228 L neutral French oak for five months.
- We refermented the cider in the traditional method with its own yeast culture and organic cane sugar. Bottles aged sur lattes for 12 months before being riddled and disgorged by hand.