Our Hard Apple Cider
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Joe grew up picking apples on his family’s ranch and today Dutton Ranch currently farms about 200 acres of CCOF certified organic apples along with their 1200 acres grape vineyards. Tracy’s family also has Sebastopol roots with apples of every sort. Inspired by their combined family history, we today craft our Carbonated Hard Apple Cider that are available exclusively online or at our Tasting Room.
The blending of Gravenstein and Golden Delicious apples fashion the perfect Summer beverage, refreshing and not overly sweet. The combination of the two varietals allows for a fruit-forward cider bursting with the flavors of biting into fresh apples paired with a distinctive tartness and touch of sweetness on the finish.
The sweet and tart flavors of the Gravenstein Apple are symbols of Sonoma County’s historical agricultural traditions. If you visit the Russian River Valley in late summer or early fall, you will find freshly-picked native Gravenstein apples for sale in farmers’ markets, local groceries, and in classic old-style fruit and vegetable stands along our quiet country roads.
Golden Delicious apples are pale green to golden yellow in color and speckled with small lenticels (spots). They are small to medium in size and tend to be conical or oblong in shape. Golden Delicious apples are firm, crisp, and white-fleshed. These apples have a balanced sweet-tart aromatic flavor, which has been described as honeyed. The flavor varies depending on where these apples are grown; in a cool climate, the amount of acid increases, creating a sweeter flavor. When grown in warmer areas, the acid content is lower, creating a milder flavor.
Keeping the apples and the pressed apple juice cold is the “secret” to our Hard Cider. This ensures that all the crisp apple flavors are retained and the acidity is smooth and bright. You could say “COLD” is our mantra. Cold Pressing, Cold Settling, Cold Fermenting, and Cold Storage make our Hard Apple Cider shine and differentiate us from many others.
All of the fruit is sorted by hand and travels via a conveyor to the apple grinder where the juice is freshly cold pressed. After stainless steel tank fermentation, the cider is stored in neutral French oak barrels to give you a complete palate experience. The alcohol is typically higher than in other craft ciders due to the natural sweetness and natural sugar level of the freshly-picked apples from our estate orchards. At bottling, unlike many other cider producers, we add a kiss of carbonation to magnify the vibrancy and freshness.
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Our family is six generations of forward-thinking Sonoma County farmers. Joe and Tracy’s agricultural heritage is deeply rooted in Sonoma County, and wanted that same experience for their three daughters. Meet the Family.
Our prestigious fruit is derived from our family’s appraised farming operation, Dutton Ranch. Our vineyards are located in the heart of Green Valley’s Russian River Valley, and just 15 miles from Sonoma Coasts’ Pacific Ocean. Explore our Vineyards.
Surrounded by friends and family, Dutton Estate Winery has a warm group of winemakers, chefs and administrators who are dedicated to bring visitors the ultimate winery experience. Meet the Team.
The Dutton Estate winemaking team work hand in hand, sharing their commitment to allow the expression of the terroir from the selected estate family vineyards. Learn About Our Winemaking.