100% Albemarle Pippin apples, trees aged 40 and 80 years. A non-commercial orchard, fruit received light spring sprays and nothing else. Sandy loam of mica and gneiss, 2900’ elevation Bent Mountain has produced apples of renown since the mid 19th century.
The flash drought in September and October 2019 stressed the trees into early ripening and fruit drop, so I harvested everything myself off of the orchard floor. The fruit that survived a heavy culling was lush and juicy with surprising phenolic depth.
The focus of Patois Cider is balance: How do wild trees maintain their ecological equilibrium, and how can an orchard mirror this dynamic? How will several successions of microorganisms collectively transform the fruit? How do I align myself and my work with the interconnecting cycles of nature?
This process is shifting and part of a larger rediscovery of a lost American cidermaking tradition. A cuvée will change year to year, reflecting seasonal differences in the fruit or adaptive techniques thought to better express those differences. The ciders will continue to evolve in the bottle and the glass. While I hope they will reward patience, they are not precious and are meant to be enjoyed.
The name is meant to reflect the idea that orchards/mountain fruit ‘speak their own dialect’ - that apples can express terroir. The only blends are wild fruit, everything else is single orchard bottlings.