Signs of the Times
While the grape harvest has just gotten underway, the apple harvest in West Sonoma County has been going strong for weeks. First come the Gravensteins, then the Rome apples, then the Jonagolds and others later in the season. The recent wave of interest in cider, both locally and abroad, has given renewed life to the local apple industry. West County produces some of the tastiest and most sought after juice in the United States.
Check out this sorting and crushing setup specifically for juicing of apples for cider. They then take this apple mash and press it just like grapes, and apparently get somewhere between 160 and 170 gallons per ton of juice. The juice tastes fairly acidic, and the apples are picked somewhere between 10 and 14 brix, which yields an alcohol between 5 and 7%. I love seeing other forms of agriculture thrive in wine country!