The Western Slope is where it’s at for growing apples in Colorado. Technically everything west of the Continental Divide, the Western Slope encompasses roughly one-third of the state and about 70% of the state’s water, with the Colorado River and its tributaries dividing the region. A semi-arid climate with drainage from the river makes the land rich for farming, including fruit trees.
The Williams family came to agriculture in the Western Slope relatively early — five generations ago. The family orchards are located at the bottom of Grand Mesa in the Surface Creek Valley, a high-elevation, warm-day and cool-night climate optimal for apples. Using that fruit, Snow Capped Cider produces a wide variety of ciders from these estate-grown apples, run by owner Kari Williams. In addition to the ciders, Williams and team have started playing with cider cocktails for their consumers.
“We love the opportunity to create cocktails with cider, [it] adds unique and layered flavors and character to mixed drinks,” she says. “It also really increases the ABV, so be careful!”