Cider Press and Ferment — Sat 30 May — 1 pm
There will be a large press and some fermenting apple juice in a quiet sylvan setting. Venue: Graham Valley Road, off the Motueka River West Bank Road.
If you reach the Flora Saddle carpark you have gone about 9 km too far.
Any spare clean champagne bottles will be gratefully received!
Bring something for the sales table as usual.
Cider in a Ferment
Patrick Cudennec has been making cider from real cider apples for some years now. His grandmother in Brittany made cider (as most families did then) and he has childhood memories of family picking up apples off the grass under the trees. At least one of the varieties he uses (the highly astringent Fuero Rous) probably came from Brittany.
Generally the first apple pressing has been done by mid May, once the ambient temperature is cool enough so that fermentation of the juice takes place slowly. By this stage some apple varieties are well past their best. Patrick’s intention is to cool the pressed juice in his new cider house, so that the apples can be gathered and pressed at optimum ripeness, rather than having to wait for appropriate cold weather. Fermentation uses naturalised yeasts associated with the apples.
By the time of the field day, the first pressing will have been done (Bisquet, Kingston Black) and possibly the second (Bittenfelder, Fuero Rous, etc). There will be juice fermenting and the keeving process may still be underway in the later batch. One interesting aspect is to taste the raw materials – apples with varying amounts of sweetness, bitterness and acid – and compare with the finished cider, whose character depends very much on the blend of apple varieties and a long slow fermentation.
Bottling happens during cool high-pressure weather in late September or early October, followed by further slow fermentation in the champagne bottles to give the sparkle. By Christmas we can think about tasting the new cider.
Patrick has been a fisherman, mountain climber and diving instructor. He has travelled the world to both remote islands and international resort locations as skipper of very large yachts and motor launches, playthings of the super rich. And now the more peaceful lifestyle among the Nelson hills.