Cider is traditionally made by fermenting the juice of apples and pears. At Abel we tweak this theory slightly and make our cider by fermenting the entire fruit – skins, pulp, seeds, stalks and all.
Cider is commonly placed in the beer category, however being derived from fruit, the production is much closer to winemaking than brewing. For us this is important as we use white, red and sparkling winemaking techniques to produce Abel Méthode Cider.
Cider's sparkle is created in one of three ways. The simplest method, used for most cider, is direct carbonation, in which pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) is added during bottling. The second, more traditional, method is to seal the cider in tanks just before it finishes fermentation. This creates a slight spritz when the very last stages of fermentation take place in the tank.
The most difficult and labour-intensive (expensive!) method is to put the cider through secondary fermentation in bottle. This is called “Méthode Traditionelle” - the method used to make Champagne that gives greater complexity of aroma, flavour and structure. We add a final dose of yeast and sugar (tirage) to our cider as it is bottled and sealed. The yeast completely consumes the sugar inside the bottle, creating a small amount of pressurized carbon dioxide and alcohol. Then we wait - it usually take 8-10 weeks for the yeast to complete this secondary fermentation in bottle. This is where the “Méthode” in our name is derived from. #bubbles #abelmethodecider #abelcider #nelson #cider #summer #waiting
Mark & Sophie make cider in the sunny Tasman region at the top of New Zealand's South Island.