This summer, Colorado apple grower and cider producer Snow Capped Cider launched a new high-end cider offering named Snow Capped Cider Gold Rush made from cider-specific apples grown in 109-year old orchards
Snow Capped Cider, like many businesses, has experienced some challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Thankfully, much of the work to done is outdoors and the facilities are not in a populated area of the Western Slope, so they have been able to keep their entire cider team intact. While the Tasting Room has been closed, the Snow Capped Cider team focused efforts on fermenting and canning along with learning Orchard work and helping with frost protection.
In addition, this was a difficult year for fruit growing due to the frost, and Snow Capped Cider’s parent orchards was one of the only large-scale growers with fruit this year. Since they specialize in high-altitude growing (their orchards are located at 6,130 feet), they are have an extremely high level of frost protection. This year, for example, they used 38,000 gallons of propane and 200 cords of wood per day to keep their fruit viable. The danger of hail still looms and the growers use hail netting as a preventative measure.
Says owner Kari Williams, “Cider apples are worth their weight in gold—they are some of the most sought-after apples with which to make proper cider, and they are not available to just anyone. We have been carefully cultivating our fruit for a century, and eight years ago added French and English cider-specific varietals for high-end cider. We’ve been testing and developing what works best in our terroir and elevation—we finally have mature enough apples to produce cider up to our high standards. These apples are not readily available to cider makers, and most orchards in the US do not grow them. If they do, it’s a small amount. The varietals are from France and England, are estate-grown and sourced from one location. Rare! Like gold!”
Snow Capped Cider Gold Rush (6.9% abv)
GSN’s Thoughts: This is quite tart and at the same time, quite sweet. It’s an interesting mix that reminds me of sour apple candies. But, there is also a soft flourish of vanilla, and a hefty and welcome boost of alcohol here, which makes this a perfect cider to pair with a meal. Quite a powerhouse of flavor, and well balanced. The carbonation too, is intensely tight and almost in the style of a Belgian ale. We approve.
GSN Rating: A
For more information go to: Snow Capped Cider