With the temperature dropping and the leaves changing color, nothing feels more timely than hard cider.
We've been selling Snowdrift Cider since the day we opened and decided to take the team out to East Wenatchee to learn more about the cidery.
Meet Tim, part of the Snowdrift Cider operations. Working with his father-in-law Peter, Tim works full-time with the cidery doing just about everything -- from picking apples and experimenting with blends to shipping and distributing.
Tim greeted us with six Snowdrift ciders to try, from the seasonal varieties like Orchard Select and Cliffbanks blend, to barrel-aged dry cider and an interesting red.
In addition to offering cider for sale in the tasting room, we got to peruse the variety of awards Snowdrift has collected since they started releasing cider in 2009.
We also got a tour of the shop's tanks, where half of the cider is stored. Tim shared with us just a sample of the 40 varieties of apples Snowdrift grows, all of which have different sugar, acid, and tannin levels.
Peter took us for a tour of the 50 acre orchard and taught us how they graft apple trees. When you plant an apple seed, you have no idea what variety you'll get! But it's easy to change it what you want it to be, as you chop all the limbs off the tree and attach new limbs of the variety you want. The process takes about three years to start producing fruit, but allows the farmer lots of control.
Snowdrift also has a variety of crab apples unique to their orchard, which are about the size of cherries!
We also got a tour of the processing facility, where Snowdrift presses the apples, keeps the tanks, and stores the kegs.
Tim showed us the method champenoise ciders, which are stored vertically for three weeks to let the sediment collect before refrigerated for a year.
Snowdrift uses these tanks holding over 20 cases of apples (close to 1,000 gallons) to ferment the cider. Each cider is fermented for a different amount of time, depending on the variety of apples in the blend.
Snowdrift produces 4,000 cases of cider annually with distribution across the United States. A beautiful family-run business, we're proud to serve Snowdrift Cider.