Cider Chats: Natural fermentation & terroir

  • Wassail 162 Orchard Street New York, NY, 10002 United States

Hear these growers and cidermakers talk about why they chose to make their ciders naturally without cultured yeast, sulfur or CO2. A technically challenging process, some believe this method better expresses the character of the fruit while others find it produces faults that get in the way. Hear what they have to say, taste the results and then decide for yourself.

"What [natural fermentation] allows is for uncontrolled elements to be involved with the process," (Kevin) Zielinski explained. "But I'm not manipulating it. I hear other cider makers-wine makers, beer makers-say what they're going to do with this yeast to create another character." Natural fermentation is an extension of the process that begins in the fields. For fans of natural fermentation, not only do the flavors harmonize with the fruit more ably-they're a part of the fruit. Natural yeasts and bacteria come into the cider on the skins of the apple; they're a part of the native terroir, and a distinctive marker of place. "[Natural fermentation] is truer to what the fruit itself would do than if I'd purified it with SO2 and fermented it with a yeast inoculation." -Jeff Alworth,

Talk includes taste of ciders from each cidery. Bottles available for purchase in our bottle shop.

Kevin Zielinski, E.Z. Orchards Cidre
Brian Smith, Oyster River
John Reynolds, Blackduck Cidery

Moderated by Dan Pucci, Wassail's Cider Director.