With five cideries located within its borders, Sonoma County, California is already marked as one of the more important regions for hard cider production in America. With the launch of Specific Gravity Cider Company, make that number six and pay very special attention to Specific Gravity—It’s got something important going for it.
That great potential of Specific Gravity Cider Company lies in its access to the 300+ acres of apple orchards it already farms across Sonoma County. Up until the launch of Specific Gravity, founder Paul Kolling leased a series of orchards across the county ranging in size from a half-acre to 30 acres in order to fuel his Nana Mae’s Organics brand, an award-winning producer of organic apple juices, sauces, vinegars and fresh fruits sold locally. However, when a 2013 bumper crop supplied Kolling with an excess of apples, particularly the locally prized Gravensteins, he very naturally added hard cider to his product mix.
The three hundred acres farmed by Kolling deliver 40 different varieties of certified organic apples. Many of the orchards under his stewardship are small, heirloom family orchards that have been cultivated for decades.
Behind the fermentation wheel is Alison Schneider, a wine and spirits industry veteran. Schneider has made wine at Chateau St. Michelle in Washington, Deloach Vineyards in Sonoma County and at Jepson Vineyards in Ukiah, California.
Currently, two hard ciders are in production:
Along with Specific Gravity Cider Company, Sonoma County is host to Ace Cider, Devoto Orchards, Murray’s Cider, Sonoma Cider and Tilted Shed Ciderworks.