Saturday, July 30, 2011

Champagne and Cider

I was just talking with friends Steve and Jen Gougeon up at Bear Swamp Orchard about how we would like cider to remain farm-centric, rather then bottle-centric. This NY Times article says exactly what I feel, except it's about champagne not cider.
When we think of wine our impressions are all too often lead by the aesthetics of the bottle (including pricing) or by our prejudice toward certain grape cultivars (pinot, cabs, etc.). What we should be doing is investigating the farm on which the fruit was grown. This is where we taste terroir, not in post-card like impressions we have of, say, Tuscany or Bordeaux.
As cider aspires to mirror the successes in the wine industry (to which I'm 75% approving, BTW, after all it's a great thing that regional differences are sought, but...) I hesitate to turn the bottle over to wine-type marketing. First and foremost, the focus should not be on the vintner or cider-maker (the celebrity), nor should the marketing rest squarely on grape/apple cultivars. No, I think the focus should start with the farm and how those vines and trees are married to the soil. And one should follow the progress of the fruit as it was raised until harvest.