Shelburne Orchards

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Quiet season

There are numerous seasons in a year of apple brandy making. Early spring is apple tree planting time. We are planting apple varieties that are chosen for the flavors that are beneficial to the brandy. Then the growing season, with it's diverse weather. Stress from drought increases the sugar content in the apples, yet wet summers increase the nutrient uptake and gives us large plump fruit, and higher volumes of juice. Then there is harvest season. choosing the best time to pick the apples, mixing of varieties, pressing them when they have their most flavor. Fermentation season, adding yeast, racking off, waiting till all the sugar in the cider has turned to alcohol. December and January is the distilling season. We run all the hard cider through the stills and fill oak barrels in the cellar. then last but not least.. the quiet season. February and March we let the brandy sleep.. no poking or prodding, no noise, nobody even goes inside the cellar.. only the angles..