FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bridgeville, DE, April 2, 2012:
What does Delaware’s oldest commercial apple orchard do with one of its bestselling old fashioned apples? It teams up with a nearby award-winning small batch winery and makes a flavorful hard apple cider that sparkles.
Few people know it, but apple cider is as much a part of America’s apple story as apple pie. In the Colonial period and up to the middle of the 19th century, cider was the most popular and important beverage in America. The tradition came to the New World with English settlers, who also brought the seeds for planting orchards. Typically the first drink of the day, cider was safer than water and easier and cheaper to produce than beer or wine. There are many theories regarding why hard cider faded into history, including the influence of immigrants who preferred wine and beer. But most believe it was Prohibition what put an end to this American tradition.
With its popular fresh pressed apple cider, TS Smith & Sons in Bridgeville frequently fields questions from customers about how to get the “hard” variety of their special drink. Unfortunately, no one in Delaware produces a hard version of apple cider.
“Before the requirement that apple cider go through a pasteurization process, people made their own hard cider by letting apple cider ‘go hard,” explains Charlie Smith, of TS Smith. Smith, along with his brothers Tom and Matt, are fourth-generation farmers and owners of the 105 year old family farm in Bridgeville.
Tom Smith adds, “Since that time, we’ve had plenty of inquiries, but a shortage of answers, with nowhere to send our apples to make hard cider.”
Meanwhile, a short distance south on US 13, Great Shoals Winery had completed production of what is now an award winning sparkling hard apple cider from the Spencerville Red apple grown on one of Maryland’s historic family farms. Throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the Washington, DC area, people were already enjoying what Great Shoals was offering.
Great Shoals Wine Maker Matt Cimino was looking for a Delaware apple with just the right properties for another small-batch wine at about the same time TS Smith and Sons was looking for just the right winery for the answer to its customers’ requests. When they found each other, it happened to be at the time of apple harvest, and TS Smith had plenty of apples for Great Shoals to select from. It didn’t take long for Matt Cimino to select the Black Twig. “The apple and the Smith farm have a lot of fans on Delmarva, so it was an easy decision for us. We feel lucky to have been in the right place at the right time and the Black Twig Hard Apple cider makes a unique addition to our line of sparkling hard apple and pear wines. We’re very pleased to be part of this project.”
“The natural sweetness of the apples and the bottle fermentation process transitions the cider to a flavorful dry sparkling wine”, explains Matt Cimino. “This is exactly what we were hoping for,” adds Charlie Smith. “Our aim is to keep the farm as authentic as possible, allowing visitors to experience a real working farm. This beverage is something that is unique, just like us.” Matt Smith adds, “This sparkling hard cider has many historic qualities, just like our farm. It is also very cutting edge, just as many of the methods we have adopted, such as converting to solar power and water conservation technologies.”
“It is very much in line with what we are trying to accomplish through our sustainable farming techniques and commitment to sourcing locally. We appreciate that people care about how their food is produced and where it comes from” explains Charlie Smith. “We know our customers are going to love this. We hope there is still some around by apple season, because unlike other beverages, this one requires our seasonal produce. We won’t harvest Black Twig again until early Autumn.” TS Smith doesn’t store apples long term, preferring instead to market them just after they have been hand-picked.
TS Smith’s Black Twig Sparkling Hard Apple Cider will be available for sale throughout Delmarva and in regional locations beginning April 2, 2012. In addition to being sold by area liquor stores, it will also be available in some of the area’s finest restaurants. Customers from outside Delmarva will also be able to enjoy Great Shoal’s new addition where its line is already sold.
Locations currently stocking TS Smith Black Twig Hard Apple on hand include:
Bridgeville Discount Liquors
9577 Bridgeville Center Rd
Tri-State Liquors, 333 Naamans Road
Tax Free Liquors, 38627 Benro Dr.
Mr. B's Super Liquor Warehouse
321 Independence Blvd.
Liquor Depot, 1010 Forrest Ave.,
Dover Liquor Warehouse
253 N Dupont Hwy.
Midway Discount Liquor Warehouse, 1000 Midway Drive
Cochran Liquors, 560 West Main St.
Banks Wines & Spirits, 38014 Town Center Road
Kemp's Liquors, 22841 Milton Ellendale Hwy.
Outlet Liquors, 19724 Coastal Hwy.
Those who are interested in the wine should ask for it at their favorite retailer and restaurants as more locations are being added every day. The wine is available throughout Delmarva and the metropolitan Washington area. Visit www.greatshoals.com for locations.
On May 12, 2012, the public will be able to meet Great Shoal’s Wine Maker, Matt Cimino, as well as apple grower Charlie Smith from 11-3 PM at the TS Smith & Sons farm market in Bridgeville during its Second Saturdays series of monthly on-farm events that are planned for the second Saturday of each month from May through November, followed by a Holiday Open House December 1.
For further information, contact:
Click here to view launch handout
Black Twig Hard Apple and TS Smith Black Twig Apples
(L to R) Charlie Smith and Matt Cimino
(L to R) Tom, Charlie, and Matt Smith in the TS Smith & Sons apple orchard
We are open:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The farm market opens in mid to the end of April when the fresh, tender asparagus is ready, and we end our season at Christmas Eve.