5Ws of Cider: Scott Heath and Ellen Cavalli. Tilted Shed Ciderworks 2012 Graviva! Semidry Cider

5Ws of Cider: Scott Heath and Ellen Cavalli & Tilted Shed Ciderworks 2012 Graviva! Cider.

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Ellen Cavalli of Tilted Shed Ciderworks in Sonoma County, California answers our 5Ws of Cider pairing questions:

WHO: Scott Heath, co-owner & cidermaker, and Ellen Cavalli, co-owner & sales and marketing director.

WHAT:  Tilted Shed Ciderworks 2012 Graviva! Semidry Cider

Graviva! is our homage to the beleaguered, beautiful Gravenstein, which was Sonoma County’s main agricultural crop until post-WWII, when imported apples and eventually the wine industry put the squeeze on growers. Now there are around 600 acres left in cultivation, down from a few thousand just a couple of decades ago. It’s a blend of 50% Gravs with 50% heirloom and cider apples, including Hubbardston Nonesuch (a low-tannin, low-acid sweet from 1830s Massachusetts) and Nehou (a high-tannin, low-acid bittersweet from 1920s France), all organically grown on Sonoma County farms. It’s a lightly effervescent, bright, crisp cider with refreshing acidity, slight floral aroma, and a touch of sweetness and tannin.

We hand-washed, sorted, ground, and pressed the apples from August to October 2012 at our small cidery in west Sonoma County. Then Scott sent the juice onto a cool, slow fermentation in small batches until late March 2012. Our process is more akin to white wine production; the long fermentation allows the cider to develop more nuance and aromatics, which may be lost in a fast, hot ferment. Then Scott blended it, aged it for a month, then began bottling by hand. We released Graviva! in early May, for a total of 400 gallons.

WHAT TO PAIR WITH : Graviva! is fantastic as an aperitif, with cheeses (especially the sheep and cow dairy cheeses by our friends at Weirauch Farm & Creamery) and charcuterie. Its balance of acidity, sweetness, and tannin also makes it a great accompaniment to pork tenderloin, salmon, oysters, and spicy foods (especially curry dishes). I most like to pair it with is a hammock on a sunny day, but our most memorable pairing was with local salmon.
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We serve it lightly chilled; 50 to 55 degrees is the sweet spot for releasing the aromatics.
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WHEN & WHERE: The most memorable pairing we had with Graviva! was in late July 2012 at our house. Scott had just turned the Big 40, and we were three weeks away from launching our very first batches of ciders at Sebastopol’s Gravenstein Apple Fair. Early in the morning, Scott drove out to nearby Bodega Bay, where he bought a whole salmon straight off the fisherman’s boat. He smoked it in our wood smoker, and also made focaccia from scratch. Meanwhile, I picked and prepared a bunch of vegetables from our garden: cucumbers, carrots, green beans, and Sungold tomatoes. Our good friends and their kids came over, one friend brought the yummiest carrot cupcakes, we busted out a few as-yet-unlabeled bottles of Graviva! (we were still waiting to get the labels from the printer!), feasted on the best salmon we’ve ever had, and had a fun, noisy dinner party on our deck.

WHY: There is something inherently celebratory about Graviva! Not only did it make for a convivial dinner, it’s been poured instead of Champagne at weddings, and we recently served it on Mother’s Day as a toast to my  mom.

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To find out more:
Note: The lovely chicken pictured is a Rhode Island Red, and her name is Big Red.

 

5Ws of Cider: Tilted Shed Ciderworks 2012 Graviva! Semidry Cider

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The Second installment of The 5Ws of Cider:

The Featured Cider:

Tilted Shed Ciderworks 2012 Graviva! Semidry Cider

The Gravenstein sparkles in this bright, crisp cider. The refreshing acidity is balanced with a touch of sweetness. We sourced the Gravs and other heirloom cider apples for this blend from organic growers in the Sebastopol area. The Grav lends its lovely aromatics, while a mix of “bittersweet” apples—which were specially developed over the centuries for fermented cider—imparts lively tannins. This is Sonoma County heritage in a bottle. Viva la Grav!Great as an aperitif or celebratory bubbly, or pair with aged cheeses, spicy foods, and a hammock. Silver medal winner at the 2013 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition.

2012 harvest

7% ABV

375 & 750 ml

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The 5Ws of Cider Pairing: Next Up: Tilted Shed Ciderworks of Sonoma County, California

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The 5Ws of Cider Pairing.

The 5Ws is a recently launched feature where we ask cider makers to share their favorite cider & pairing.

We give you the brand, the cider, and pairing from some of Americas most interesting craft cider makers.

We think makers who take the time to craft a well made cider, probably have some pretty interesting pairing suggestions.

Next up: Scott Heath & Ellen Cavalli and Tilted Shed Ciderworks 2012 Graviva! Semidry Cider

5Ws of Cider: Jolie Devoto Wade & Apple Sauced Cider 2012 “Save the Gravenstein” Original

5Ws of Cider: Jolie Devoto Wade & Apple Sauced Cider 2012 “Save the Gravenstein” Original 

Hunter Wade of Apple Sauced Cider in Sebastopol, California answers our 5Ws of Cider pairing questions:
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  • WHO: Jolie Devoto Wade, the farmer’s daughter and cidermaker.
  • WHAT: 2012 “Save the Gravenstein” Original. Crisp, tangy, acidic. Goes down exceptionally smooth. The secret: we grow all of our apples that we use, and we grow for flavor, not for quantity. The dry-farmed certified organic Gravensteins that “sweat” for a few days possess a wonderful aroma that comes through in the taste of the cider. Also, we’re tasting Sonoma County’s heritage apple in a glass. Jolie loves pairing the cider with our weekly catch of fish tacos, always made with a zesty slaw, fresh halibut or salmon, and a mean avocado salsa. Also great with meats and sharp cheeses.
  • WHERE: Anywhere with food.
  • WHEN: Since this cider is super food friendly, think lunch or dinner. But also, pop a bottle on the top of a hike, even if it’s in the morning. There have been too many times when we really could’ve used a nice refreshing drink of cider, and we had no bottle in hand. Next time.
  •  WHY: Jolie likes this pairing because it is a satisfying protein-rich meal, that wouldn’t be the same without the cider. She always says, “the cider fills in the cracks,” rather than “the cider opens up the stomach.” Our zesty tacos pair well with the clean crispness and smooth finish of the cider. Honestly the most food-friendly cider we’ve ever drunk.
To find out more:
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5Ws of Cider: The Cider: Apple Sauced Cider 2012 “Save the Gravenstein” Original and Devoto Orchards

5Ws of Cider: Jolie Devoto Wade & Apple Sauced Cider

2012 “Save the Gravenstein” Original 

APPLE SAUCED LOGO

Apple Sauced Cider 2012 “Save the Gravenstein” Original

CIDER MAKERS NOTES: 100% Gravenstein, Single Varietal Cider. Made from 100% Gravenstein apples, an heirloom apple variety that our county was once famous for but is now disappearing as the orchards are being pulled out and replaced with wine grapes. So we are calling it “SAVE THE GRAVENSTEIN” as part of our mission is to increase awareness for the variety. 22oz bottles, 6% ALC/VOL, 672 cases produced.

To find out more:

The 5Ws. Cider Pairing: Cider Makers Recommend Their Favorite Cider & Accompaniment.

LOC apple image

The 5Ws of Cider Pairing.

The 5Ws is a new feature launching today, where we ask cider makers to share their favorite cider & pairing.

We’ll give you the brand, the cider, the maker behind the cider, and their pairing suggestion.

Essentially the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of cider pairing from some of Americas most interesting craft cider makers.

We think makers who take the time to craft a well made cider, probably have some pretty interesting pairing suggestions.

First up: Jolie DeVoto Wade and Apple Sauced Cider.

5Ws of Cider: The Cider Maker Suggests. Cider Makers Recommend Their Favorite Cider & Accompaniment. And Tell You Why.

LOC apple image

5Ws of Cider: The Cider Maker Suggests: Cider Makers Recommend Their Favorite Cider & Accompaniment. And Tell You Why.

The 5Ws: A new feature where we ask cider makers to share their favorite cider & pairing.

We’ll give you the brand, the cider, the maker, the pair.

A classic Who? What? When? Where? Why? of cider pairing.