2015 L’Orpheline ‘Sauvage’ sparkling cider now available

It is with some pride that we are now ‘officially’ releasing our 2015 L’Orpheline Sauvage sparkling cider. It is without doubt our best cider yet, with a little dance of bubbles on the palette, a clean taste and dry finish. I like to explain to people that it is best appreciated as ‘champagne’ made from apples, because it is probably the apéro most similar to that famous bubbly wine from France.

This year’s Sauvage is made from two apple varieties — red Jonathan & granny smith — and it is about 7% alcohol by volume (a little stronger, but smoother, than the 2014 vintage).

I also tried something a little different this year, but you need a little Cider-Making 101 to understand why this change was important.

Unlike in the juice from grapes, wild yeasts (and we only ever use wild-yeast fermentation in the barrel) tend to have a little trouble surviving on apple juice alone, which means that ciders fermented this natural way tend to finish fermenting well before all the sugars are consumed. This results in ciders that tend to be on the sweet side, and also why completely dry ciders like L’Orpheline are exceedingly rare (especially in Australia; think of the ciders you typically get on tap in the pub).

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