We’re in the midst of working with over 15 batches of fruit fermenting from last year’s crops, racking and preparing for blending and bottling. It’s exciting because we have several out of stock popular wines that will be re-released in June, like our Double Gold Winner Rubus’ Nightfall, Hyland Red (both made with our own raspberries), Crimson Rose, Whitfield’s Pearadox and Strawberry Delight. Plan a visit to our wine bar soon to check out these wines!
For those of you who like a refreshing Sparkling Wine, we are in the formulation and label approval process with TTB for a Strawberry Wine blend, made with our own strawberries. This will complement our other sparkling products, Rubus’ Nightfall, Sachem’s Twilight and Hard Ciders.
Speaking of Hard Ciders, stay tuned as we are preparing for a mid-summer launch of several new hard ciders, to be released in cans. Our constant desire to be ‘greener’ means a shift to aluminum cans from bottles for our most popular ciders, as they are much more easily recycled and less bulky. Thimble Island Brewery in Branford started having our Hard Cider on tap in October, and we will be expanding our on-tap locations as our production capacity allows. Remember, our Hard Ciders and Wines are made with Gluten free ingredients.
Did you know that our Hard Cider is truly local, fresh and all fruit based? Its 100% fresh apple cider, fermented in batches of 200 to 500 gallons, using multiple yeast strains, then blended together for the desired flavor profiles. We do not use concentrates, flavorings or dilute the cider. It is then aged for 3 to 12 months to further develop its character. Many non-farm based Cideries buy juice or concentrate as they need it made with cull apples, (‘dessert’ varieties packed for supermarket shelves) that do not have the flavor profiles to make a rich flavorful hard cider. Our blends are heavy on varieties including IdaRed, Stayman, Golden Delicious and Jonagold, with less known varieties like Baldwin, Russet, plus culls from our packing line.
Mike Costa joined us an Assistant Winemaker last fall and I’m pleased to have his talents working to grow our offerings and keep a watchful eye on quality that is driven by excellent sanitation procedures.
Finally, I would be remiss to reflect that work on legislative issues to support and protect agriculture have also kept me busy. As the final weeks of the CT Legislature’s 2019 session are upon us, we still have major work to fine tune HB 647 regarding liquor permits and sales, and not have other bills put undue burdens on small businesses, including farmers like us. Your support for our business is appreciated and supports our managing over 300 acres of land.
Look forward to seeing you on our farm, Keith Bishop