In America, we don’t have established regional blends of ciders. So we needed to name ours.
Our first four ciders are Gravity, Levity, Terrestrial, and Celestial.
Gravity is our sweetest cider, at 0.8% unfermented sugar (off dry). Thus it is a relatively high gravity cider. “High gravity” refers to specific gravity—the density compared to water. Sugar solutions are denser than water and denser than alcohol. So with a little sugar still in, the gravity is higher.
We also couldn’t resist the connection between the apple and our understanding of gravity. It is well known that Isaac Newton was inspired to begin formulating his law of universal gravitation while witnessing an apple fall in his mother’s orchard. He had the brilliant insight that the same force acting between the apple and the earth was also acting between heavenly bodies. And while his endeavors in physics, mathematics, and alchemy are well known, it is less well known that he was also a cider maker.
Finally, Gravity has a good tannic structure, so it has a feeling of having some weight to it.
Less well known than Newton, was Viktor Schauberger, an Austrian forest warden, inventor, and iconoclast of the 19th and 20th centuries. He conceived physics from an original point of view, and created some amazing technology. Definitely not one to just accept Newton’s classical mechanics as the whole story, he posited complementary forces of gravity and levity, and notably quipped, “I think it would have been much better if Newton had contemplated how the apple got up there in the first place!”
According to Schauberger, it is Levity which allows the apple trees (and all trees) to grow upright and which allows humans to grow upright. He suggested that levity is a life force and may spiral upward and out of the earth. Additionally Schauberger said that the ancient Egyptians and Greeks stored food and wine in terra cotta amphorae sealed with beeswax because they understood that this shape and these materials preserved the life force in what was stored inside. He claimed that it is for this reason that 2,000 year old grains unearthed in Egypt were still viable as seed. Thus we decided to call the cider which we ferment in buried, beeswax lined, terra cotta amphorae Levity. We also liked the image of rising bubbles in a glass of Levity and rising spirits among those sharing a bottle.
Terrestrial, and Celestial, like Gravity and Levity, or the volatile and the fixed, are a complementary pair of concepts. The soil and the sunshine together give rise to the apple and thus the cider. We strive to express the harmony and balance of these principles in the ciders. Terrestrial is crisp, refreshing and generally down to earth. Celestial perhaps soars to greater heights—or perhaps that’s stretching it a bit. In any event, while each cider has its own unique balance, balance is the key factor in each.