Rustic cider is a traditional style of cider making championed by MillStone that hearkens back to a simpler time and age old processes. We create ciders using the pure cider making craft from past centuries. At MillStone, our goal is not only to employ this method, but to perfect it.
what makes a cider rustic
We believe rustic cider begins with a strong connection to the orchards, and the farmers who grow the best cider apple varietals for our climate. Beginning with picking the apples at optimal ripeness, and utilizing traditional harvesting methods, as well as cold storage to get the highest quality of flavor at pressing. We then press the juice without filtration or chemical additives, working the cider through fermentation in its raw form.
oak barrel fermentation
Oak barrels are at the heart of traditional cider craft and everything at Millstone is based around this concept. Fermentation begins in oak barrels, utilizing a blend of native and/or cultured yeast, and is then aged in the same barrels Sur Lie, or on top of the lees, for its entire aging time. The humble barrel allows for high lees contact, micro oxygenation, but most importantly gives the native yeast and bacterial cultures a home to live in. This allows for us to slowly build a "house" characteristic, and flavor, based on what microbes live in our locality.
Crafting a sense of place and terroir from growing conditions, seasonality, and native microflora is at the core of Rustic cider. Rustic cider is less about control, as brewers and winemakers tend to want, and more about guidance through the process. A true expression of what makes ones area unique, and bottled in the form of cider.