A Twist on Tradition
Hinterland Traditional Method Cider
Prince Edward County, Ontario
Oh yes, another cider. Sure summer’s winding down, okay maybe this cider is sold out for the season, but it’s just so good I had to tell you about it.
It’s no secret how much I love Hinterland’s wines. I’ve already told you about their incredible Ancestral (apparently the 2016 is already fermenting away!) and I’ve stockpiled my cellar with a few of their other treats. I may even use them as an excuse to head to the Brickwork’s Farmer’s Market every time they’re on site. And that’s because they’re making some of the best sparkling wines in Ontario – and even a couple still wines, too.
So when, last year, they released their first cider, I was ecstatic. It was beautifully made in the traditional method (just like Champagne), super delicious, and I went through my too few bottles far too quickly. Then, of course, they sold out.
When they released two ciders – a charmat and a traditional method – earlier this summer, I bought as many as I could and I’ve enjoyed them all summer long. On hot days, on brunch days, as aperitifs and as nightcaps, this cider has been in my glass regularly and it’s been a delight.
So what makes this cider so special?
It all starts with gorgeous County apples. Then, the Hinterland team treats their apples just as they do their grapes: they juice them, ferment them dry, and then get them ready for carbonation. In this case, the cider goes through its secondary fermentation in bottle before being disgorged and topped with a crown cap. The results are a delicate, bone dry, yeasty, fruity, delicious cider that could easily be mistaken for a wine.
It’s the Champagne of ciders - and no that’s not some cheesy marketing tactic. But, please, serve it in a regular white wine glass or a tumbler (no flutes required).
While you’re probably not going to have a chance to try this cider (I’m sorry. I truly am.), the good news is, Hinterland makes an equally delicious charmat method cider that's available year-round. It’s slightly rounder and fruitier, but that doesn’t change how good it is. And the traditional will be back next year (it has to be … I only have one bottle left), so you’ll get your chance.
But be smart: when it comes back, stock up. You won't regret it.
Nose: Lemony apples and lightly toasted brioche, yeasty notes and a hint of almond.
Palate: Crisp, dry, and delicate. You couldn’t gulp this cider if you wanted to – but you won’t. You’ll want to take your time with it. It’s a sipping cider, all citrus and apples and tiny bubbles. It’s refined and elegant, yet oh so flavourful. Lemon zested apple slices on a delicate pastry crust with a hint of cream, no sugar added. The acidity is high, but it's balanced and ready to go with all sorts of food (or on its own) any time of day.