Ancient Cider Making In Albemarle - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Ancient Cider Making In Albemarle

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Castle Hill Cider is moving dirt to make room for their first batch of brews. Two architects are trying their hand at cider making and they're using a very old method to do it.

"I would like for it, for me to feel like it somehow reminds me of this land in a way I'm not sure I could find the words for beyond that," Castle Hill Cider production manager Stuart Madany said.

The pair are pressing organic apples from the property and putting the juice in big clay containers called kvevris. Those vats were shipped from the nation of Georgia.

"In my mind think about how they would have made it in old days before there was metal," general manager John Rhatt said.

According to Rhatt and Madany, about a dozen wineries around the world are using this ancient technique, but no other cider makers have tried it in recent history.

"It is a bit of a risk," Rhatt said, "but we're excited about the possibilities."

The kvevris will be buried nine and a half feet underground, and in a few months, the fermented cider will be pumped out. Madany says the vats should hold enough to make about 500 cases this time around. Those bottles should be ready by early summer.

"I don't know what all the secrets they may hold are, but we're going to try to find out," Madany said.

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