Florez "flrz x nuki" Apple Grape Wine NV
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Winemaker’s note: “The Florèz winery is located in a region named Corralitos in Santa Cruz County. Historically, Corralitos has famously been an apple-producing region, and the winery is a retrofit within an apple cold store building on an orchard. Needless to say, I am regularly asked if I make cider. While not my primary interest, in 2021 I invited a friend and cider maker Robby Honda of Tanuki Cider to work on a collaborative project to make a SC Cider Wine hybrid. Thus flrz x nuki (Florez Wines ft. Tanuki Ciders) was born. Labeling rules exclude us from presenting varieties and vintage on the label.
“The Merlot for this wine came from the Hunter Hill vineyard I work with in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Pippins apples were sourced locally in Corralitos from a heritage orchard. While California lacks many of the classic cider apples, the Newton Pippin is one of the few desirable varieties to make cider due to its ability to attain high sugars and posses some tannin and bitterness, all desirable characteristics for cider.”
Fruit: 30% Merlot Grapes, 70% Pippins Apples
Location: Hunter Hill Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains. Weathered Sandstone and Shale Loams slope, located in redwoods 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean, with its cool climate influence. Tended by James’s friend grower German Soto who is working organically, no till, and dry farmed.
Making of: The Merlot was picked and allowed to begin a native fermentation. Two days later, freshly pressed Pippins juice was added to the grapes and the two were allowed to co-ferment. Regular pump overs were utilized to keep the fermentation happy. The cider wine hybrid was allowed to rest sur lie in stainless for 2 months, before being racked to neutral French oak barrels for an additional 6 months aging. 20 ppm SO2 was added at barrel to mitigate the risk of brettanomyces in the wine cellar (brett loves cider). In the spring, an organic sugar dosage was added for effervescence, and hand bottled under crown cap. Allowed to carbonate and reach full dryness over the warmer summer months.
Personality: A complex and vinous nose of apple pie, bramble berries, and herbal spice. More depth than a typical cider. A festive drink fit for celebrations. Clean, dry, and sparkling.