There are 3,175 miles between Cornwall, Vermont, and Herefordshire, England, but Shacksbury Cider manages to bring two apple orchards together despite the distance and ocean in between. The Shoreham, Vermont, cidery has already made a name for itself with its “lost apples” program in which they sought out abandoned apple trees, selected 12 varieties to propagate and graft over to their three orchard partners, but also with their transatlantic juice partnership with Dragon Orchards in Herefordshire.
Combining with apples grown at Sunrise Orchards in nearby Cornwall, juice from Browns, Ellis Bitter, Jonagold, McIntosh, Somerset Redstreak and more traditional varieties are blended before undergoing a partially native fermentation in stainless steel, aging for just under a year to achieve what Shackbury refers to as the “best pizza cider, ever” in the 2014 Classic. The Midas-gold toned cider reveals its intensity with gusto, bringing earthy, woody and fresh apple aromas to the front. Spice, brown sugar and barnyard aromatics push through with air but this cider is all about structure: the variety of the fruit brings complex tannin and bristling acid to the wide apple and earthy palate, finishing strong and dry.