August 20, 2013 at 7:10am
Whitewood Cider, the South Sound's very own producer of craft cider, is getting well-deserved nationwide attention for their traditionally made, seasonal ciders made in Olympia. Their three cider blends - Old Fangled, The South Sounder and Northland Traditional - each have their own distinct flavor and character.
Though David White and his partner Heather Ringwood released their first cider blends mere months ago, Whitewood Cider has been a long time in the making. White became fascinated with craft cider long before it gained the popularity it has today, attending a cider making class and trying his hand at making cider, eventually winning the Cascade Brewers Cup.
"Just as great wine making requires specific grape varieties, good cider making needs appropriate varieties of apples," White said. "Making that cider and winning that award was probably the first point at which I thought I could really do this."
How does Whitewood actually make their cider? The process takes "traditional" to a whole new level.
"The way we make cider is akin to wine making," said White. "When you make cider the right way - the traditional way - it does take quite a while."
Here's the rundown: Whitewood buys and picks apples seasonally in the fall, and the apples are rested and then ground up. The juice is pressed using a traditional rack and cloth press and then pumped into tanks. They add yeast, let it ferment throughout the winter, and then they blend the ciders and carefully store them in tanks for maturation. It's a six to seven month process, all together.
Knowing all the hard work and dedication it takes to make cider makes each sip taste that much better.
Washington Cider Week is coming up Sept. 5-15, so it's a good time to pick up some Whitewood Cider and give it a try. Check out their website for a full list of where to buy, but you can pick some up at Pint Defiance, Gravity Beer Market or 99 Bottles.
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