Michigan grows a lot of fruit. It is actually the second most agriculturally diverse state only to California, contributing roughly $96 billion annually to the state economy, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, with $758 million of that coming from fruit alone. Amid the 9.2 million apple trees in commercial production, there are also heaps of raspberries planted in the farms of the Great Lake State.
Taking advantage of the early-ripening Michigan raspberries in season starting July, the crew at Ridge Cider Co. in Grant has put this farm-fresh fruit of summer into its off-dry apple base with the Raspberry cider. Just-picked raspberry aromas surge from the neck of the bottle and spill into the glass with scents of the berry’s seed and leaf, plus red apple with air and less of a chill. Effusive raspberry allows for hints of apple to come through the honeyed midpalate, with a lush and fruity finish — a sweet kiss goodbye to summer.