Cider is growing in popularity with the young and the old as people look for lighter more delicate ways and means of quenching their thirsts. The Graaff Family of De Grendel, as a family have been involved in apple production in the Koue Bokkeveld up on the high plateaus near Ceres. The apples for the De Grendel Three Spades Cider come fresh from the orchards of Elgin – they use fresh apples for this fine drink instead of apple concentrate. The apples are a blend of 30% Golden Delicious, 30% Granny Smith, 20% Pink Lady, 10% Braeburn and 10% Fuji. In a recent survey, Fuji was high on the list of popular apples.
Making the De Grendel Three Spades Cider was an interesting learning experience for the Estate’s Founding Winemaker Charles Hopkins who was surprised how similar the process of cider brewing is to wine making. I think when you are used to making quality, then quality comes easy. The use of fresh top quality apples is as vital to the process as good quality grapes are to winemaking.
The De Grendel Three Spades Cider is a delicate drink, clean like Champagne. It is packed in a 330ml bowling pin Champagne shaped bottle and closed with a crown cork. Serve it in a Champagne flute or a tulip shaped glass. The colour in the glass is a pale wheaten colour with a mass of tiny bubbles rushing to the top. The aromas are obviously of apple, fresh clean zippy apple. The cider fills the palate and goes into a lovely ending, elegant and flavourful.
The De Grendel Three Spades Cider is just perfect as a mid morning refresher or to sip at sundown. It is perfect with delicately flavoured foods like chicken or fish. It is also good with desserts and Christine Capendale’s Taste Tatin with Apple & Pecans & a Butterscotch Sauce would be an ideal ‘end of the meal’ match to the De Grendel Three Spades Cider.
Click HERE for her recipe and to browse her website.
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