De Grendel toasts the arrival of autumn with their 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.
“Apples have been part of our country’s agricultural heritage for as long as growing grapes and wine-making,” says Sir De Villiers Graaff, owner of De Grendel wine farm. “It holds special significance for the Graaff family to honour both traditions.”
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. “I enjoyed my first foray into cider immensely. Initially, I wasn’t aware of how similar the process would be to winemaking.”
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.
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 is 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.
Available from De Grendel Tasting Room, De Grendel Restaurant or the De Grendel Online Shop.
Press release supplied. Images by Jeff Siepman / Man vs Mind