Elegant Effervescence from an Apple Tree – Three Spades Cider Brings Style to Cider

De Grendel toasts the arrival of autumn with the release of Three Spades Cider, acknowledging the Graaff family’s close connection to apple farming. The premium cider is made in limited quantities with freshly pressed apples from Elgin, one of South Africa’s foremost apple growing regions.

With four generations rooted in apples, it is a natural progression for the wine farm to produce a premium cider with the same dedication. The inspiration for the name and logo of the Three Spades cider comes from the family crest, a spade for each son of Sir De Villiers Graaff, Fourth Baronet of Cape Town.

Cider-making with its storied history is experiencing a new golden era, reckons Graaff. “The growing interest in small batch, carefully crafted cider reflects an appreciation for age-old traditions and artisan methods. This is spurred on by consumers seeking out products with provenance and integrity.

The creation of Three Spades Cider gave De Grendel cellar master Charles Hopkins the chance to combine his expert knowledge of winemaking’s scientific side with the art of cider-making.

According to Hopkins, the key to a top class cider is the composition of the apple juices. “Our main focus was to capture the purity of the apple, expressing it through a blend of different varieties picked at peak ripeness before being pressed to highlight the unique characteristics of each. The five varieties, each playing its part, are 30% Golden Delicious, 30% Granny Smith, 20% Pink Lady, 10% Braeburn and 10% Fuji.

The result is a cider that’s light, crisp and effervescent, with an exquisite, almost champagne-like flavour.
The fresh, lighter style is a natural fit for our thirsty climate, still maintaining the desirable crisp apple flavour, delicately delivered to the palate through the bubbles. While drinkable directly after bottling, Three Spades cider is microbiologically stable enough to age for up to 3 years in the bottle for a richer, more complex drink.

Ways to enjoy Three Spades Cider: The elegant packaging echoes the celebratory nature of cider. The petite 330ml size and curvy champagne shape of the bottle, the luxurious black glass and gold finishes are classy and cute, you would want to drink it from the bottle.

An anytime-drink, it’s the new darling on the brunch scene and a refreshing alternative to a bloody Mary or mimosa. Enjoy it on a summer’s day, at the sunset hour as an imaginative cocktail or to toast the arrival of autumn. Naturally gluten-free, it’s a refreshing alternative to beer.

It’s an exceptionally food-friendly drink, complementing roast pork and pork belly – barbequed or grilled – creamy sauces and chicken. It also pairs well with salads, soft cheese, and seafood. It’s a surprising partner for fresh oysters with a cider-ginger mignonette dressing. It also matches well with Asian flavours and is not intimidated by spices. It brings style to a homely apple crumble, and a celebratory touch to a modern deconstructed apple Tarte Tatin.

• Three Spades Cider is available in limited quantities. Production: 12 000 litres, 35 800 bottles
(2 237 cases of 16 x 330 ml bottles).
• Retail price: R35 per 330 ml bottle. Box of 16: R530
• Available from De Grendel Tasting Room, De Grendel Restaurant or shop online at the De
Grendel Online Shop www.degrendel.co.za and have your order delivered