Kevin Zielinski of EZ Orchards is one of America’s most respected Orchardists and cider makers despite a short career on the cider scene. A 3rd generation farmer, Kevin’s family has run the family orchards since 1929. Fortunately for us, Kevin got hold of some scion wood from some French cider varieties. Once Kevin’s new trees started to produce, he took his time experimenting with different methods and yeasts until he finally struck upon the combination that yielded the results he liked best. Funny enough, his French apples like traditional French techniques.
Each harvest, the batch of apples is stored cold to mature then fermented without the addition of yeast over the period of several months. Prior to full fermentation, the cider is bottled to create a natural sparkle.
Once Kevin determines the cider is ready for release, he judges whether to label his Cidre as dry or semi dry. This is his Cidre Semi Dry.
Appearance: Gold with a light haze.
Aroma: Light buttery notes, caramel, lightly funky, ripe apple, spicy yeast character.
Taste: Medium tannins, light to medium acidity, mild to medium astringency.
Overall Impression: Balanced and elegant with a long finish, Cidre Semi Dry is certainly French in nature but by no means an imitation of its Norman cousins. This would definitely fall in the range of a heritage cider as opposed to what’s being referred to as the modern style of cider (dessert fruit, often with other fruit added). When you drink Kevin’s ciders, it’s easy to see why other makers speak of his products with such respect.
CO2: Medium sparkle
Geography: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Apples: French Cider Varieties
Availability: Nationally through Artisanal Import‘s distribution network.
Disclosure: I proudly manage EZ Orchards for Kevin’s Oregon distributor.