The summer of 2018 has brought us one thing above all: heat, heat and more heat - and along with it also extreme drought, under which trees and plants have suffered badly. Now the question arises: Does this also have an influence on the cider? How will the 2018 cider vintage be? The answer is: strong and full-bodied! Because due to the hot temperatures, the apples have remained small this year - but have become extremely sweet. Many fruits are already emergency ripe and have to be harvested urgently, so that they can be processed into the Frankfurt elixir of life.
As organic farmer Andreas Schneider explains, his apples already have over 60 degrees Oechsle, which is the term for the must weight of the unfermented fruit juice. Normally, the Oechsle degree is below 50 percent at this time of the year and only reaches the mark of over 60 degrees at the end of October. This results in a record-breaking alcohol content of seven to eight percent by volume.
This year, cider lovers can look forward to a real Turbo-Schoppen. At best, similar Oechsle degrees were reached in the record summer of 2003. It was very hot then, too, but by far not as dry as in 2018.
Farmers and wine pressers, however, are facing great logistical challenges due to the extremely hot and dry summer. That's because although the apple harvest is turning out well, the fruit has to be processed much earlier than usual to avoid spoilage. Normally, cideries don't ramp up production for another month or two, but in 2018 they've been pressing for all they're worth since mid-August.
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