Flourish Magazine

Fall-Winter 2014

Flourish Magazine, the North Bay's Guide to Sustainable Living. Serving Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties and sharing the stories of local people working towards sustainable living, organic foods and eco-conscious lifestyles.

Issue link: https://www.ifoldsflip.com/i/382330

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Page 35 of 51

36 FLOURISH • FALL/WINTER 2014 M eet Ellen Cavalli, Jolie Devoto Wade, and Jan Lee: three visionary women at the forefront of the North Bay's emerging cider revolution. Their small batch, hand-crafted artisan ciders are changing the way people perceive this age-old beverage—and putting them on the map in the process. A common "tipple" in colonial America, hard cider was consid- ered the preferred drink of the working class until it mysterious- ly disappeared in this country near the end of the 19th century. Now experiencing an unprecedented comeback, craft cider is currently the fastest growing segment of the alcoholic beverage industry in the United States. The Cider Journal, a leading trade publication, reports sales of cider increased a whopping 89% in 2013 which followed on the heels of a 90% jump in 2012. Com- pare this to sales stats for other beverages in this category (2013): Beer: -1.9%, Craft Beer: +17.2%, Wine +3%, and Spirits: +1.9%. If cider sales continue at this rate, retail figures could reach over half a billion dollars in 2014. This explosive growth has triggered an American cider renaissance that is opening a rapidly expand- ing market for producers—particularly small cideries making a true craft product. Tilted Shed Ciderworks, Devoto Orchards Cider, and Apple- Garden Farm Cider are excellent examples of local cidermaking at its best, and all have pioneering women at the press. While working hard to quench a growing public thirst for their product, these cider mavens are also propagating rare cider apples that have all but died out in the marketplace. These "bittersweet" and "bittersharp" heirloom varietals are absolutely essential for creat- ing the perfect balance of sweet and tannic qualities that make a superb cider. Each distinctive artisan beverage reflects the local terroir, climate, and style of its' cidermaker. Together, these producers represent the perfect trifecta of passion, purpose, and a pressing desire to share the fruits of their labor with an ever-widening audience. Tilted Shed Ciderworks Tilted Shed Ciderworks is the result of a cidermaking hobby turned obsession for Ellen Cavalli, a former book and magazine editor who dreamed of leaving the fast-paced publishing world for a simpler life in the country. A fortuitous chain of events led she and husband Scott Heath to relocate from rural New Mexico in 2010 to five-and-a-half acres of prime apple-growing land they purchased on the Gravenstein Highway outside Sebastopol. Launching the cidery in 2011, Tilted Shed's inaugural vintage debuted at Sebastopol's 2012 Gravenstein Apple Fair and prompt- ly sold out. "We want our ciders to be an authentic expression of Sonoma County," says Ellen adding, "Our goal is to elevate the apple to greatness by making cider that is as food-friendly, thought provoking, and expressive as any wine out there." Now in its third year of production, the cidery recently moved to a larger processing facility in Windsor, which will allow the pair to increase output, sell direct to the public, and open a "tast- ing salon" where patrons can sample cider flights. Popular offerings include Graviva!, a semi-dry cider with an earthy, "barnyard" flavor blended from local Gravensteins and

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