The best cider you'll ever taste!
Pure and Unpasteurized
Clendenen's Cider Works has celebrated over
a century of birthdays and we are looking forward to this year's
Annual Apple Harvest Festival here in Fortuna!
Clendenen's Cider Works is open mid-August through January with
the picking season ending in late November or early December.
Our orchard yields about 50 tons of apples. Another 15 tons of juice apples are purchased from Sebastopol.
"We make close to 10,000 gallons of cider a year," says Clif Clendenen.
"And we sell a whole lot of boxed apples."
We've been told there are 7,000 varieties of apples, 28 of which are present on
this farm. Three - Minkler, Smith's Cider and Stark - are originals dating back to 1869.
"We use all three in the cider at different times," Clif said.
"The old varieties are good at keeping the quality up."
The cider crush happens roughly every five days and visitors are welcome to sample a drink that varies in taste as different strains of apple become ripe. Clif thinks the cider's best when the King and a few other varieties are added in.
The cider press was first used in 1916 and is still in use today.
"We've rebuilt it a couple of times, but it’s still got the
original electric motor," said Clif. Many parts of the press may have changed but one
thing has not. The cider is still made using the same method as it was when the
press was first installed.
Heating and pasteurizing changes the flavor of cider. Cider
purchased at the site of pressing is not required to be treated.
Nothing is added to the cider, making it an all natural product,
which is hard to find these days. Natural cider will keep for
maybe two weeks, depending on the refrigeration temperature. The
colder it is kept, the longer it will keep. Cider can even be
frozen, making sure to leave an air space for expansion. It can be
thawed slowly in the refrigerator and shaken before drinking.
Frozen cider is just as good as freshly-pressed cider.
Don't believe the labels: Pasteurized apple cider is not true
cider. The moment cider is pasteurized it becomes apple juice.