If there is one thing the Hemly family knows, it’s pears. The family has been growing the fruit on the skirts of the Sacramento River for six generations. Spanning acreage well into the triple digits, the orchard grows cherry, pear and apple trees, with the latter two going into their newly minted cider production, Hemly Cider. From orchard to glass, the five pear varieties grown on the property—Bartlett, Bosc, Starkrimson, Forelle and Seckel—collaborate with a number of apples, from Gala and Braeburn to Golden Delicious.
As the inaugural Hemly Cider, the Pear Cider is built on Bartlett pears and blended with 40 percent Gala apples, chosen for its subtlety as to not overpower the delicate aromas and flavors of the star fruit. Scents of quince are front and center, with the cider pulling aromatics from both fruits with golden-hued pear, lemon zest and herbal bouquet garni. The palate has a very slight carbonation, showcasing the cider’s ripeness and freshness in the bottle. Approachable yet concentrated from these old trees, the texture is round and thick from spending time in oak, with sprightly acid that lifts with earthy pear in the finish.
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