expressive cider made from from high quality heirloom Apples
Fall 2016 Pressing
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OUr Cidermaking Philosophy
We make world class expressive cider from high quality heirloom apples - Always using 100% New York State apples harvested at peak ripeness with no added sugar or carbon dioxide. Entirely pressed in the cool autumn weather and producing sparkling ciders with natural secondary fermentation. Produced in the Fingerlakes, and grown within 50 miles.
Excellent fruit is the most essential element of great cider. This lovely fruit is grown with care and harvested at peak ripeness. We work closely with growers to ensure the fruit is just right for cidermaking. Upstate New York has had apple orchards for hundreds of years and the glacial soils and temperate climate is well-suited to growing apples with great flavor. The cool nights, especially in the autumn, allow the apples to ripen slowly and to keep the great flavors that they developed throughout the growing season. Notable American cider apple varieties originating in the Northeast include the Northern Spy, Golden Russet, Baldwin, and heirlooms that were commonplace 200 years ago such as Rhode Island Greeniing..
We spend many enjoyable hours exploring Upstate New York to find orchards with the best fruit available. We work with orchards located between the Fingerlakes and Lake Ontario that have excellent cider apples. These include orchards of Rhode Island Greening that haven’t been harvested in nearly 20 years, as well as Northern Spy and Ida Red so mature that the understory is a forest of grasses and wildflowers. Farmstand orchards all over New York have been pressing this fruit for cider for generations and have kept these heirloom varieties alive and well. This fruit has character and elegance that is more than tangible in the cider - it is intensified.
All of our cider is pressed on a rack and cloth press that has been in use for nearly 100 years. It is powered by a tractor and is being run by the fourth generation of the Gansz family to press at this same location. The video above shows the press in action.
Phonograph cider comes from a traditional winemaking approach. The fruit is pressed fresh in the fall at peak ripeness and fermented in the Fingerlakes town of Romulus during the cool autumn and winter. The ciders are immediately fermented with no sugar is added. The first fermentation is stopped with cold temperatures and a second fermentation then produces sparkling ciders with exceptional clarity and expression. This method showcases quality fruit in a pure and expressive cider.
Our two ciders currently in production are Greening, a blend with Rhode Island Greening apples from an abandoned orchard and Northern Spy, a single varietal heirloom apple cider.
Phonograph Cider is available by the bottle and on draft in several locations from Buffalo to Brooklyn.