Brewvine: Verterra Winery Cans Chaos Ciders

While they’re most well known for their award winning wines, one Leelanau County winery is also proud of their all natural ciders.

For this week’s Brewvine, Whitney Amann and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson take us behind the scenes at Verterra Winery to see how their popular “chaos ciders” are canned.

“A few times a year we can ciders, hard ciders and we keg them,” said owner Paul Hamlin. “We’ve been doing this now for about six or seven years, started as an afterthought, and it’s turned out to be wonderful products for us.”

As Verterra Winery was just getting its start, they didn’t have a lot of wine to offer their customers.

They also wanted to add some variety.

So they began their line of “chaos cider” with a hard apple cider.

Over the years, the winery has added some new, delicious, local flavors.

“All the apples for these hard ciders are all from northern Michigan and then the fruit flavors that go into it so the peach, blackberry, raspberry lemonade, well, all of them are Michigan products except for the lemonade, we do bring those in from Florida but everything else is fresh pressed juice added to the hard cider and it makes for quite a quite a fantastic cider hard cider drink,” said Hamlin.

The crew spent the day sending 12,000 cans through the canning line, building four packs and loading pallets with the cider that will hopefully get them through to their next canning this summer.

With flavors like “sweet peach”, “blackberry bliss”, “raspberry rush” and “luscious lemonade” they’re the perfect pairing for summertime in northern Michigan.

“They’re all incredibly refreshing for summer drinks, they really are,” said Hamlin. “We’re in the land of water, beach, boats, and, boy, there’s nothing better than drinking a wonderful, chilled cider, you know, on a summer afternoon, on the water, on the beach, in your backyard, wherever, they’re just fantastic.”

Verterra is also proud of their pinot blanc.

This dry, fruit-forward white has won back-to-back awards in Michigan for “Best Dry White Wine” for their 2019 and 2020 vintage and just recently their 2021 vintage won “Best of Class” in the “Pacific Rim International Wine Competition”.

“Three fantastic pinot blancs come and get them there in our tasting room,” he said. “We’re almost out of the ‘19, we’re now beginning to serve the ’20 and before long, we’ll be serving the 2021.”

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