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Fermentations, Ruminations & Meditations

Finnriver Fire Barrel Harvest

Mar 13, 2015

The ruminations of winter come to an end  in the cidery with some bright sunny days, but the cold nights still slow fermentations and steady the path to aromatic profiles. This week we pulled from their respective whiskey barrels the first ever batch of 100% Finnriver grown Fire Barrel Cider. Those of you that have known us for a few years might remember the transplanting of 6 year old trees from Mt. Vernon to Chimacum. We brought cider apple trees from an orchard destined to be neglected, to be the first planting in a much larger vision.  These trees took a season without fruit to recover and then in the fall of 2014 we harvested a light collection of bittersweet fruit. 700 gallons that fermented in the cool onset of winter and spent December, January, and February in Kentucky bourbon barrels, and Utah  straight rye whiskey barrels.

Just today we finished loading the aged cider into a tank, it waits in line to be bottled in the next two weeks. The apples are the same as before, same trees even. But the valley bottom used to be a dairy pasture and its rich soil, the water of Chimacum creek, the tender and attentive management, and the love that we put forth into all we do is in these long awaited apples. As a cider maker, I am learning about barrel management and the intricacies of maintenance, and the balance of micro-organisms and how to craft flavor profiles from apples through barrels to you.

This is an exciting time to watch our growing orchard so plump and ready to burst into spring.  I’m ready for  it too...

Andrew Byers

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