If someone asked you, “what is your favorite apple?” What would you say? Would it be a sweet or a tart apple? And on what occasion? Here at Devoto Gardens, people ask us this question multiple times a day, and every week, our answer changes. The truth is that most of the apples are our favorites, and some are better for baking, while some better for munching on the spot, but they all serve their purpose. In fact, every variety we grow on the farm serves many purposes.
In September 2012, we released our first batch of delicious cider, called Apple Sauced Cider™. This cider is a California fusion with a healthy disrespect for tradition–the first fusion cider takes on Sonoma County’s heritage, heirloom apple variety, the Gravenstein apple. Originally planted in Sonoma County in 1811, and revered by an older generation as the world’s best pie apple, the Apple Sauced team has re-imagined the variety for the current generation of 20-somethings in order to spark their interest through hard cider. Thus, the first cider release, “SAVE THE GRAVENSTEIN” was born as an innovative way to save the heirloom from disappearing. Made seasonally from 100% organic Gravenstein apples pressed fresh after harvest, the Apple Sauced ciders maintain the integrity of apples fresh from the tree and are gluten free.
For some reason, people think that using only European cider varieties for cidermaking is the only proper way to make cider, which is a very traditionalist viewpoint–well that’s like saying that basil is the only way of making pesto, even though pestos can be even better made with cilantro or parsley. Yes, we do have other great varieties suitable for cidermaking here on the farm, and we’ll be using those varieties for great cider in the future, but we chose the gravenstein as our flagship because produces THE BEST zesty, crispy, refreshing cider around. It’s all about how you make it. With that said, our cider is the cilantro version of pesto.