HERITAGE Cider, Aged in QUALITY Oak, for the DISCRIMINATING Consumer

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OUR STORY

FIRST TASTE

In 1999, before gluten-free was a common term, the Founder of Patriots’ Heritage Cider discovered his inability to tolerate wheat based products. As a result of going gluten-free, Ron could no longer drink a beer with friends in the evening and limited himself to a single glass of wine (due to the sulfite headache afterward). One evening in 2013, a co-worker introduced Ron to Hard Cider as an alternative to beer. This first taste started the journey that is now Patriots’ Heritage Cider.
FIRST FERMENTATION

Now having a love for hard cider, Ron consumed commercially available ciders as he traveled around the country on business. Unfortunately, Ron quickly discovered that these ciders contained the same headache producing additive as wine – sulfite. Rather than cutting out his new found love of cider, Ron decided to buy his first apple mill and produce his own cider – by hand – from only fresh picked apples and natural maple syrup (no sulfites!). Ron’s first 6 gallon carboy of cider turned out great - it seemed to come naturally to him. When sharing it with a co-worker whose brother owned a cidery in North Carolina, Ron was told that the cider was equal to or better than many commercially available ciders. On this co-worker’s recommendation, Ron entered his inaugural cider in the 2015 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry (GLINTCAP) Competition. That first cider finished 1 point from a Bronze Medal, but came back with great feedback from the judges. That first competition ignited the search for high quality Heritage Apple cider.
FIRST AWARDS

With a new passion, Ron researched the components of a good cider and the properties of apples. He learned about sugar levels, acid content, tannin, aromatics, the intricacies of the fermentation process and the numerous styles of cider. By the Fall of 2015, Ron had developed five recipes that he was anxious to test. Now, the hunt for his chosen apple varieties began – no small task given the limited availability of high quality Heritage Apples. But, with bushels of Esopus Spitzenburg, Roxbury Russet, Dabinet apples in hand, Ron started the fermentation that ended in 50 gallons of the five recipes. The research paid off with four medals in the 2016 GLINTCAP Competition. A Silver Medal was awarded to the inaugural batch of our Oak Spirits Collection – Oaky Dody. In addition, a Gold Medal was awarded to our first naturally sparkling cider and was one of only five Gold Medals awarded to New York State Ciders that year. The name of that Gold Medal winner became the name of our Cidery – Patriots’ Heritage.
FIRST COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION

With this success, Patriot’s Heritage Cider was founded in July of 2016. While waiting for Federal and New York licensing, the Fall of 2016 brought experimentation with larger tanks and higher production as well as the first year working with only native New York State apples. More awards followed at 2017 GLINTCAP including another Silver Medal for the second batch of our Oak Spirits Collection – again named Oaky Dody. Our Cider House was built from December 2016 to March of 2017. The Federal TTB Winery, NYS Farm Cidery and NYS Farm Winery Permits were obtained and all was in place to start our first commercial production in the Fall of 2017. The Spring of 2018 produced our first selections available to the public – four new batches within our Oak Spirits Collection (Oaky Dody, Smoky Dody, Patriots’ Cider and An Doras), one sparkling cider (Cidre de la Porte) and one additional experiment with wild fermentation techniques (the Disturbance). These ciders received a total of 14 medals at the 2018 GLINTCAP Competition, the 2018 Big E Northeast Gold Cider and Perry Competition and the 2018 New York Wine Classic.