Valle Del Tolten, Chile
Garagiste unique cider from Tolten Valley in Chile - a picturesque region of extinct volcanoes, lakes and forests, with a continental climate also home to a patchwork of old apple groves established by postwar European settlers. Rivera sources his apples from a roster of three core growers where the short, low yielding trees are aged between 50-80 years old and have always been managed organically. In lieu of specific varietal identification (which is now underway), the apple cultivars carry local names like Gravenstein, Alvarado and Roja Chica – the latter a small, tannic variety Rivera uses for structure. Quebrada del Chucao has also started to plant the Nahrwold farm with massale selections from the finest material. Production is tiny with less than 300 cases. Bottle fermentation gives their ciders super fine/soft bubbles, with some apple sweetness on the palate, but the finish is dry with excellent texture from the apple tannins. This ‘Barrel Aged’ cider has spent some time in oak barrels giving the cider more complexity and a slight hint of vanilla.