Tastes like napping under a herb crusted beach umbrella while using grapefruit pith and elderberry to soothe your burnt summer skin.
Grapes and apples both grow abundantly in Oregon and they both make delicious alcoholic beverages once fermented. But we tend to keep them in their separate lanes. Grapes make wine. Apples make cider. End of story.
We’re totally fine blending two different wine grapes together and most ciders are blended from multiple different apple varieties. But blending wine and cider together? That is NOT a thing we do. But considering that no geographic region can or should ever be reduced to just one thing, maybe such a blend could express Oregon in its totality?
Last year, we partnered with Luke Allen Wylde of Lares to hop on their bandwagon of mad exploration in order to create a more unified vision of Oregon fermentation. The resulting Rosé + Cider Pet Nat was nothing short of a revelation. The rosé gave the blend it’s kaleidoscope of citrus and floral flavors and it’s saturated grapefruit color. The cider provided the low alcohol freshness. In an era of more conscious consumption, lower alcohol means you can drink more without feeling the hurt. And honestly, lower alcohol is so much more fun when it comes to daytime, poolside, beachside, riverside drinking. Clocking in at only 8.8% abv, it was no surprise that we were sold out by the end of Summer. But we weren’t satisfied yet.. There was too much potential for this to be just a one year exploration. We were back in talks with Luke almost immediately about collaborating for another go around. The Rosé + Cider Pet Nat proved the thesis that wine’s complexity united with cider’s low alcohol chuggability could create something singular. Something uniquely tasty. So the question for year two was simple…
For year two of our collaboration, we’ve kept the same basic formula of Rosé + Cider. But we’ve added an extra layer of complexity by steeping the rose wine in a herbal mixture before blending with the cider. We wanted to capture some of the enticing bitterness and complexity one finds in the great vermouths of Europe but we didn’t want to add any liquor in the mix - low abv is still the name of the game here.
“Too often we see the world in reductive ways. Like only marveling at one tiny square of a disco ball instead of taking a step back to see how every facet illuminates the dark corners of our mind. This wine is one of those steps back for me.”
Luke Allen Wylde
The fermenting herbal rosé and cider still got put into bottle to finish fermentation which created the bubbles. The end result is a sparkling beverage that drinks like a cousin to vermouth and soda. It’s basically the world’s first low alcohol Vermouth Pet Nat. Was it any surprise that Luke (whose brain is like a willy wonka factory of ideas) has maybe helped create an entirely new genre of beverage?
Of course not. This. Is. What. Luke. Does. Luke has been one of our favorite local natural winemakers for years now. They’ve got their fingers in a couple different projects (the Statera wines are a must buy always) but with Lares, Luke has been really pushing the boundaries of experimentation here in Oregon. Started in 2018, the wines are a lodestone, of sorts, for us at Post Familiar. Just like us, Luke shares a deep appreciation for the legacy and tradition of Oregon winemaking.
But that tradition, instead of being used as a crutch, is more a starting point for flipping things completely on their head. Turns out, it’s way more fun to break the rules if you actually know the rules you are breaking.
With that ethos, we weren’t really surprised when we heard in 2020 that Luke had started blending grapes and apples. When we first reached out about collaborating on a Post Familiar project, we knew we wanted in on the mixed fruit fun, but we had no idea where this fool’s quest would take us.
Skip ahead two years, and we’ve now released two collaborations, both wild experiments with apples and grapes. But perhaps most meaningfully for us, through this process we’ve developed an incredibly deep sense of love and appreciation for one of Oregon’s most thoughtful wine minds. And here’s the thing…. we’re just getting started.
Sulfur added (PPM)