Cider Powered by the Sun
By Aurora Sandelands
With every aspect of our lives moving towards sustainability and thoughtful environmentalism, Flag Hill Farm, located in the breathtaking Vermont mountains, understood the assignment. Being the first-ever organic and solar-powered cidery established over 35 years ago, they genuinely harness the power of the earth to bring unique vintage and craft ciders to the market, along with a lot else.
Boasting over six different apple products on their website, you may be surprised at how thoroughly each product is thought out and developed. Their double-distilled and always organic Pomme de Vie Vermont apple brandy is an excellent example of how co-owner Sebastian Lousada’s European upbringing influences his techniques. The brandy is inspired by calvados, a French apple brandy, and is slow-fermented and barrel-aged over an open flame. An English native, Sebastian began crafting traditional wines at age twelve, allowing him to now be able to prepare such imbibables as their Sparkling Vermont Cyder and its still counterpart, Vermont Cyder.
The sparkling elixir is made according to the méthode Champenoise, where the still, dry apple wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle, creating carbonation. The result is a fresh and crisp wine that will satisfy even the pickiest sommelier’s palette when paired with a dessert or light entrée.
Sustainability is a core value at Flag Hill Farms. The farm is a member of the Vermont Land Trust and follows guidelines from the National Audobon Society on bird- and bee-friendly farming. Sebastian and co-owner Sabra Ewing have succeeded in maximizing their orchards’ role as a significant pollinator habitat.
They achieved this milestone in environmental sustainability with a strategy that increasingly more agricultural professionals are exploring—simply not spraying anything. Introducing sheep into the orchard has allowed grass maintenance, weed control, and natural fertilization. In addition, co-owner Sebastian’s interest in ornithology (the study of birds) led him to build a nesting box for kestrels, a type of small falcon. The kestrels nest in the box and hunt locally, which helps keep the rodent population down in the orchard.
80 Types of Apple, Endless Creativity
Flag Hill Farms takes pride in its environmentalism, but we can’t forget the game’s name is their delicious product! With over 80 varieties of heirloom and unique apple types at hand, the potential for creativity in flavors is endless. Sebastian and his team craft delicious ciders and wines for you to purchase and enjoy—but they also aren’t stingy with their methods!
You can tell their passion for people simply enjoying the flavors of their apple ciders and wines runs deep due to the recipe repertoire on their website. Providing customers with some favorite ways to enjoy Flag Hill Farm products shows us they love what they do as much as we love the result!
Don’t be mistaken—their delicious products can be enjoyed all on their own; however, sometimes, a little splash of lemon juice or a slice of orange can enhance the natural flavors and your experience.
Thanks to co-owner Sabra, not only does Flag Hill Farms produce excellent products, but they’re also dedicated to stimulating the local economy in their town of Vershire, Vermont. Sabra is the founder of VerShare, a grassroots organization dedicated to improving life in Vershire. Whether pairing with their neighbor orchard to create interesting kinds of vinegar or frequenting local co-ops and farmers markets, Flag Hill Farms has married the modern artisan Vermont community with the traditional, time-tested crafting methods of the past to provide gorgeous products for us to enjoy.
Everything about this cidery should give you good feels, from knowing you’re supporting a thoughtful and passionate environmental company to the flavors you’ll fall in love with at the first sip. You can taste the passion in this product, so don’t hesitate to visit Flag Hill Farm’s website to place an order or request that your local liquor store order some of Flag Hill Farm goodness for
you. So have fun, drink, and enjoy.
Photos Provided by Flag Hill Farm
Flag Hill Farm
135 Ewing Rd