"This cider is the central focus of the project. All fruit is from unsprayed, abandoned, or seedling trees, mostly sourced from rocky soils at high elevations. A cuvée of chance and recovery.
The heat and drought started harvest in early August and limited later disease pressures, offering a wealth of trees holding sound fruit with phenolic depth. A gift of a first vintage.
A continuous fermentation carried through the full harvest window as fruit ripened: five days of active fermentation on skins before being pressed into a used 500 L French oak puncheon and two used 350 L French oak barrels. Aged on gross lees without batonnage for 9 months. Intentionally left un-topped, each barrel developed a positive flor that protected the cider from oxidation and contributed mineral complexity. Barrels were blended together and bottled with organic sugar and its native culture on the 2020 summer soltice. No SO2 additions were made. "
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.