In 2017 young natural winemakers Benjamin Oswald and Markus Ruch began to identify the owners of many local neglected apple and pear trees, some up to 200 years old, and still producing beautiful fruit. Beni and Markus made deals to care for the old, endangered trees in exchange for the right to harvest the forgotten fruit and produce apple and pear ciders using traditional artisanal and natural methods.
They now work with several meadow orchards across northern Switzerland to source high-quality ancient varieties like Bohnapfel, Surgrauech, Berner Rose, Champagner Bratbirne, Konstantinopler Apfelquitte, among many others. Some of these only exist in their part of the world. Like artists with access to colors no other painter has, the duo manage to produce some of the most exciting ciders being made in Europe right now.
Above all, their project is based on building biodiversity, nurturing the environment and contributing to the preservation of natural habitats in the region.
SCHAFFHAUSEN – SWITZERLAND
VARIOUS ORCHARDS – ORGANIC
Apfel (Apple Cider)
Type: SEMI-DRY APPLE CIDER | Variety: BOHNAPFEL, BOSKOOP, SURGRAUECH, BERNER ROSE, BLAUACHER | Additional info: Organic, indigenous yeasts, minimal SO2, unfiltered
A semi-dry cider made from fruit from trees in and around Neunkirch that are no longer used. They are remains from the orchard belts that used to surround the villages. They guaranteed the residents a supply of vitamins through the winter and acted as a resting place for the beneficial insects on which agriculture relied at that time. The typical Swiss cider apple varieties, all fermented spontaneously, with their balance of perfume, acidity and tannins make for a pretty, animating cider, in contrast to its bitter brothers from Brittany.
Birne (Pear Cider)
Type: MEDIUM-DRY PEAR CIDER | Variety: GRÜNMÖSTLER, CHAMPAGNER BRATBIRNE, GELBMÖSTLER | Additional info: Organic, indigenous yeasts, low SO2, unfiltered
A semi-dry Poiré made from pear trees in and around Neunkirch, the fruit of which is no longer picked. The pears are specific varietals which, with their high acid and tannin content, are inedible raw, but once fermented spontaneously and with minimal intervention allow for delicate flavors with a complex aroma.