My love for producing Cider stems from my love for Winemaking. I had my first Cider from England about 20 years ago and the memory of that beverage has always stuck with me. Cider Making requires the same skills as Winemaking: great fruit, careful management of fermentation and seeing the product through to the bottle. Choosing quality fruit is essential as in the winemaking process. Creating this business takes into account the rich Apple farming history in Humboldt County, my childhood home. I couldn't think of a better place than Humboldt to start this business.
I am committed to acquiring apples from Humboldt County orchards as much as possible. I currently am receiving apples from Feisty Dog Orchard in Holmes, Fieldbrook Nursery in Fieldbrook, an amazing private orchard in Rio Dell and Mitchell Grove in Eureka. I will be bottling my ciders as Orchard Specific ciders. I want the focus to be on the unique flavors of each location and I want to honor the farmers who work so very hard to produce such amazing fruit. The relationships I have with the growers is so rewarding and buying their fruit helps keep local farms in business. Working with local farmers also preserves the long history of apple farming in Humboldt County for future generations.
Wrangletown Cider Company produces Craft, Farmhouse-Style Cider (in addition to small lot, vineyard designate wines) in Arcata, California. I am currently selling the bottled cider I produced earlier this year and am in the process of making cider and wines from the 2015 harvest. My goal is to purchase equipment that will help me bottle my product (a bottling line, a crown capper and a pump for the cellar). This, along with creating a more formal tasting area for the public to come enjoy my beverages.
For my last vintage, I used another winery's equipment to produce my product. With my own equipment, I could really grow my business by being able to bottle my product on-site and allow me to become more creative by bottling new and interesting blends on a small scale. Only by selling my first vintage of cider and wines am I able to cover the rent of the building.
Bottling equipment along with a bar with refrigeration would take Wrangletown to the next level. I'd be able to bottle my blends in the Cidery while storing and serving my Cider and white wines at the perfect temperature. I would also like to be able to keg special lots that would only be available at the Cidery and select restaurants. I look forward to making the space I'm in truly welcoming to people with their family and friends!
I have moved into my production space and tasting room in what was the former Arcata Recycling Center. Modifying the building was a huge undertaking and expense and I am hopeful that this Kickstarter campaign can help me get further toward reaching my goals.
There are plans for a restaurant to open next door (by another proprietor) in 2016 which will compliment what I will be offering. The Creamery District, where I am located is seeing a lot of growth with new businesses and creative artist's spaces. I really feel that I'm in "the right place at the right time" and am fortunate to be in such a supportive community. If you are in the local area, please stop by and I'd be happy to speak with you about my goals.
- Harvest is in full swing and I am fermenting many small batch ciders and wines.
- Looking to order the right bottling equipment for the task of bottling the cider and wine.
- Ordering more glass for bottling.
- Serving customers on Fridays and Saturdays at the Cidery as well as selling cider to local retailers and restaurants.
- Creating wine labels for my soon to be released wines.
- All of the above while still keeping an eye on the fermentation process and perfecting cider blends.
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Risks and challenges
If I am unable to reach my goal with this Kickstarter project, I will seek financing where I can find it and my goals will take longer to achieve. I am currently the only bottled cider being produced in Humboldt County and I the demand has been strong from retail markets. The sooner I can get my product into retailers, the sooner I can successfully grow this business and keep retailer demands fulfilled.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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