Cider's Renaissance

Monday, 25. July 2016

Cider's Renaissance

Cider has experienced a real renaissance in recent years. The most important reason for its new popularity? It tastes good!

We are currently in a period of rediscovery of cider, for lots of reasons. The health benefits of this fermented grape juice are just as responsible for its rediscovery as are the value of regional natural products.

In other words: many people are reflecting back to their roots.

Cider was the classic drink in many people's homes for ages. There was virtually no house without a wine barrel in olden times. Cider could be easily produced and lasted a long time. Its reputation as a simple drink has long since changed. The inventiveness and quality awareness of Austrian producers have given this traditional drink new, delicious life.

What's Cider?

The word must comes from Latin and literally means "young wine". Strictly speaking, this wine is obtained by pressing juice from pears, apples or grapes and fermenting it. In Austria, cider may also be called fruit wine according to the Austrian Wine Law.

There are many different variants in different regions that can all be called "cider". In Lower and Upper Austria cider is obtained largely from pears with apples added in small amounts. In Vorarlberg, Carinthia, Styria and Burgenland, the ratios are reversed. Apples are the main ingredient, and are sometimes supplemented with pears. Cider can be bought both filtered and unfiltered. In Vienna, if you order a cider, you'll most likely get a sweet, unfermented grape juice.

History of Cider

The history of cider is very long. Even the ancient Celts drank the fermented juice. At that time, health issues played a role in the drink's popularity. Cider has excellent digestive properties. In addition, water could not be drunk untreated as it was filled with germs. For wine, which naturally contains alcohol, fermentation made the water safe to drink. 

How is Cider Made?

Making high quality cider is just as intensive a process as making wine. First, you need quality cider fruit. This fruit has more tannins than the fruit that you buy in the supermarket. The fruits are washed and pressed after harvest. The juice is then poured into fermentation vats for several weeks where yeast converts the sugars naturally present into alcohol. Many producers today add yeast cultures that artificial because the fermentation can thus be better controlled. This ensures consistent quality. After fermentation, the wine is filtered and clarified. Cider has 5-8 percent alcohol by volume and thus falls exactly between beer and wine on the alcohol content scale.

Trends in Wine Production

Mixed ciders with a blend of apple and pear juices are very popular right now.  Varietal ciders are also growing in popularity. Pear cider has less acidity but more tannins than pure apple cider. Qualitatively, excellent cider has a vivid color without cloudiness, smells fruity and has a natural carbon dioxide content. 

The Flavor

Cider tastes refreshing tangy of fruit. Mixed with mineral water, it makes an ideal summer drink.

In Mostviertel growing region in Lower Austria is divided into four different flavors: mild, semi-mild, strong and fresh, depending on the interplay of acidity, tannins and residual sugar. A powerful wine is distinguished for example by its high tannin content and low acidity.

Discover the delights of Austria's Cider here