|We grow organic apples for our own brand of hard cider. Our apples are the
heritage varieties such as Kingston Black, Kerrys Irish Pippen, Nehou, Stayman Winesap,
Roxbury Russet and several other russet-type apples, as well as various crabapples which
add tannins and body to the lighter apple juice. We have a few sweet apples for early
picking, but the majority of the apples are too bitter and sharp to enjoy as dessert fruit.
Our orchard is certified by MOCA (Marin Organic Certified Agriculture). We harvest the apples over a long period of time in the fall, picking each variety as it becomes ripe and storing for a few weeks so that the natural sugars increase.
After fully ripening, the apples are pressed into juice and fermented using natural yeasts to dryness, a process which takes about four weeks. The juice is then drained off, or “racked” as it is known, into a secondary fermenting barrel where it stays for another several weeks before a final racking into storage and bottling.
Our “style” of artisan cider is a still, dry,
farmhouse variety with apple “notes”
which is very different from the
commercial brands which tend to be sweet
and “fizzy.” This cider pairs well with
many of the sharp cheeses as well as spicy
foods. It is especially nice with the local
Cider production is quite low-tech. Our
press is the basic two-basket model shown
at right. The juice drains into a 2-gallon
bucket and is strained into a 30-gallon
drum by hand. This is a two-person
operation and it takes us several hours to
get a drum of juice.
Our cider is currently being sold at
the Tomales Deli, at the Marshall Store in Marshall, at Cowgirl Creamery in Pt. Reyes Station, and to our guests who stay on
the farm. It will be available at
other venues as our production
increases. We are a proud supporter
of Marin Organic and a member of the West Marin Chamber of Commerce.
We are also pleased to offer bed-and-breakfast lodging to many visitors to the area.
Most of our guests come to experience life “on the farm” and to enjoy the local
attractions of West Marin. They always comment on the beauty and the peaceful life
here in Tomales!
For additional information, please visit www.AppleGardenCottage.com. }