Craft Cider Production
Only high quality apples can be turned into a real craft cider!
Each noble beverage requires a special composition of ingredients – it is what decides about its excellence. Just as when making wine special grape strains are carefully selected, the most important thing in making cider is to choose the right apple varieties. All of them have their own characteristics and only mixing them in the right proportions allows to achieve the desired flavor balance of the final product. Apples can be sweet, sour, bitter, with large or small amount of tannins. Only proper composition of apples, according to special secret recipes, gives the right balance in the finished cider and determines its final taste.
Our farm was established over 40 years ago by Władysław Rybacki in Świerkocin near Grudziądz. In 1982 it was a 3.5 hectares area. In 1999 Paweł Rybacki, who has just finished his studies related to farming, took over the farm from his father. Nowadays, our orchards are located in two municipalities: Grudziądz and Rogóźno and occupy almost 30 hectares. Diversified location allows us to grow apple and pear trees in conditions required for particular varieties. Dessert varieties such as Gala, Golden grow on warm and sunny positions, where the soil is rich in nutrients. Most varieties intended for cider are grown on poor and cooler sites. Such “difficult conditions” cause that the fruit is smaller, but more saturated with flavors due to the harsher weather. This increases the intensity of flavors and the ratio of skin to flesh favors the extraction of tannins. We do not use nitrogen fertilizers, which contribute to faster apple tree growth and higher yields – we give priority to quality rather than abundant yield. In late summer we start picking the ripening apples. Some of the fruit is left for a late harvest, which makes the fruit much more filled with flavor. For pressing of juice for cider we use only apples in full maturity, picked by hand from the trees. This requires very careful observation and picking at the right time. Unripe apples do not give the right taste and aroma, and overripe ones often fall to the ground and cannot be used for cider production.