Club News with Faith
Faith Cunningham, Wine Club Concierge
By now you should all be enjoying your Fall Release wines! If you have yet to receive your wines, please reach out to me by email at email@example.com. If you are a pick up order, feel free to pop in to the RiverWalk Resort between now and the next six months to grab your wines. The holidays are upon us so it’s an ideal time to gift someone their favorite bottle or enjoy it yourselves during the season’s gatherings and festivities!
2021 Fall Release Party – What a great time!
Thank you to all the Club Members who attended the Fall Release Weekend! It was a huge success, thanks to your enthusiastic participation and camaraderie. It was great to see you taste some new favorite wines (and Mead), and getting to know other club members! We loved seeing each of you create YOUR OWN BLEND! We can’t wait to do this again in the Spring! In this month’s newsletter, please find a survey that we encourage you to fill out. Let us know what you enjoyed, what may have been missing, and what you’d like to see from us regarding future club member events!
I know many of you are wondering how the Mead tasting scored. Nectarine came out as the winner! Below, the first 4 still scored above average, while Strawberry and Peach Mead hit slightly below average. And the least popular Mead was the Cherry one scoring in below three on an average rating.
1. Nectarine Mead
3.Mixed Berry Mead
Stay tuned to find out when Nate and Mark’s Mead will be hitting the shelves!
Tasting Room News with Brian & Katie
Tasting Room Managers in Training
November is always a quieter time in the area, and the Riverwalk Tasting Room is no exception. This gives us the time to re-organize, restock, and look toward a cozy and yummy holiday season! The tasting room will be filled to the brim with good tidings and cheer, from the decor to a new twist on an old favorite: a blueberry mulled wine! Don’t let the sound of it scare you, we spent an afternoon playing around with various wine combinations to come up with what will surely be your new favorite holiday party drink. Come warm up!
As leaves and the heavy traffic of leaf-peepers fall away; we find ourselves in a more relaxed time of the year. With this, comes the reopening of the Atrium Wine Bar! Come join us Monday – Friday in a more intimate space for tasting and learning about our Wine and Cider. This is an excellent opportunity for the crowd-averse to enjoy themselves and converse with our friendly and knowledgeable staff. The Rhythm Studio will be open only on Saturdays and Sundays. Be on the lookout as we are closing in on the release of some of our new craft beverages!
Production News with Nate
Nate Maser, Assistant Winemaker
All of the fall ’21 harvest grape wines are undergoing MLF, malo-lactic fermentation, before they head into their barrels for a long 2-winters’ nap. The white wines are settling in tank after their second racking and will be fining their way toward bottling in the spring.
In a traditional winery, this is the time of year when I would get to take a little break. But, at Seven Birches, we take this period to start our hard ciders, meads, and seltzers for the Rhythm Handcrafted Beverages brand. On Tuesday, we got the first of 2 large batches of pressed sweet apple cider from Windy Ridge Orchard. Overall, we will purchase 1650 gallons of the juice that will go into our hard ciders and apple wine. We are expecting to also purchase 350 gallons of heirloom apple juice from Applecrest Farm Orchard to go into our Heirloom Hard Apple Cider. We have also sourced a tote (275 gallons) of juice from the Cardigan Mountain Orchard, which we will be picking up soon. Yup, you guessed it…. it’s cider fermentation time!
No rest for the weary. Many of you attended our 2021 Fall Release Party. It was so nice to see all of you. Thank you for giving me your attention and feedback on our meads. It looks like Nectarine was the hit, followed by Blackberry/Strawberry and Mixed Berry. I’m looking forward to get those going soon!
We are just about ready to bottle 2 more new products for the Rhythm brand, the Peach Hard Seltzer and the Hard Honey Apple Cider. We have conducted our blending trial for the honey cider and we are excited to bring you this fizzy drink soon.
So, if we are purchasing fresh-pressed apple juice from the orchard and making it into both wine and cider, what exactly is the difference betweeen them? Good question!
Wine is defined as a beverage fermented, primarily from fruit, to an Alcohol By Volume between 6% and 26%. Apple juice, if fermented on its own, would only produce about 6% ABV, because apples barely have enough fermentanle sugar to produce that minimum amount of alcohol. So, the wine that we make from fresh juice would be considered a “hard cider” or simply, “cider.” At that low of an alcohol, it would be legally a wine, but most people would understand it to be shy of typical wine ABV in the 12-16 % range.
Apple WINE, on the other hand, has alcohol ranges in the 14-16%. How is that? Well, simple… we add sugar in a process called “chaptalization.” Adding sugar before or during fermentation, gives us the potential to reach ABV’s in that more common wine range.
So, in short, both wine and hard cider are wines, as long as they are in the correct ABV range. We also carbonate our hard ciders, making them fizzy, but that’s a discussion for next time.
Happy Cider Drinking Season Everyone!