Ribbon Cutting at Rootwood Cider Companies Production Facility
- Published on 2018-08-04 20:27:11
Rootwood Cider Company has been pouring handcrafted hard cider since 2015 at their primary location in downtown Manson. The completion of a new facility on an existing orchard property offers space to produce cider as well as an additional tasting room - known as the Orchard Tasting Room, which opened Summer 2018.
On Saturday, August 4 members of the Manson Chamber of Commerce assisted the Rootwood Cider with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony. In the photo below the Rootwood Cider Company crew is pictured with Jason Moran and Mariah Pyle on the left and Debbie and Jeff Conwell on the right.
Surrounded by apple orchards with a picturesque backdrop of mountain views, visitors to the Orchard Tasting Room can book guided walking tours through the orchard, as well as sip a selection of ciders crafted onsite. Their current cider offerings focus on dry to semi-dry blends, all made from apples. One cider has been infused with hops, which recently received a medal at the Portland International Cider Cup.
Jim Koenig prepares to take a group on a walking tour through the orchard
Family owned orchards carry on the tradition of farming, as fourth generation grower Jim Koenig along with wife Cheryl, farm apples and cherries in Manson. Cheryl & Jim’s daughters Emily, Kate, and Anna, along with their husbands are all involved with producing cider and managing tasting room operations.
Jim and Cheryl Koenig owners of Rootwood Cider Company
With the introduction of cider to the family orchard operation along with changes to market conditions, certain blocks within the orchard were grafted or replanted to include varieties of cider apples, which are used exclusively for cider and not commercially packed. These varieties offer characteristics that are ideal for fermented cider, but not necessarily a good eating apple. Many cider-specific apple varieties have higher tannin levels, more fermentable sugars, and increased astringency, which are fully expressed in the fermented cider. Kingston Black, Yarlington Mill, Ashmead’s Kernel, Frequin Rouge, Golden Russet, Roxbury Russet, Winesap and Harrison apples grow in the family orchard along with more common varieties such as Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Gala, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith apples. By offering ciders at the Orchard Tasting Room, visitors can enjoy an agritourism experience, connecting the cider in their glass with the surrounding orchard.
Manson Chamber brought a cake to help celebrate the Ribbon Cutting
Rootwood ciders are crafted by co-cidermakers Kate Koenig Howard and James Caddey. The process of making hard cider involves fermenting freshly pressed apple juice with yeast. Once fermented and matured, ciders are blended. Most Rootwood ciders typically contain a minimum of 3 different apple varieties. Once the optimal blend has been achieved, ciders are packaged in either bottles or kegs.
Temperature is critical in cider making. Rootwood has two cooling areas, one set at 52 and the other at 34-degrees to ensure perfect cider.
Visitors to either tasting room can expect cider on tap for tasting or glass pours, with bottles and growlers to go. All cider is carefully produced in small batches, by hand, and does not contain any added flavorings. Cider is primarily available at either tasting room or through their cider club, which offers the option of shipping to members in more than 30 US states on a quarterly basis. A select few retail and cider bar locations offer Rootwood Cider in North Central Washington.
Rootwood Cider Orchard Tasting Room is open 12-5 Saturdays (seasonally), and tours may be booked online at www.rootwoodcider.com
By Norm Manly