Sweet Sippin’ Cider!
On the Ratzlaff Ranch, in the rolling hills of Western Sonoma County, the boughs of the old apple trees hang heavy with ripening fruit in the late summer and autumn. At the peak of their flavorful goodness the crisp apples are taken into our big barn, hand-sorted, and in small batches pressed into sweet cider, which is fresh, pure apple juice with nothing added, nothing needed. The amber beverage is quick-chilled, bottled, and plunged into a freezer at ten degrees below zero, where the delicate tree-fresh flavor of the fragrant apples is captured for you to savor.
Ken’s great-granddad bought the old home place back in the early days, and the family has carefully tended the Gravensteins, Goldens, Reds, and Romes ever since. The sturdy old trees have outlived the sturdy folks who planted them, but there on the ranch Ken still feels close to his great-granddad, his granddad, and his dad, especially at pickin’ time.
For a quarter-century Ken and Marlene have pressed each year’s harvest to make their famous Apple-A-Day apple juice. It is the leading winner of Gold Medals at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. In addition, it has won more “Best of Show” awards than any other apple juice.
“It’s just a sack of premium apples in a jug,” declares Marlene with a grin. “We take out the pulp so you can sip instead of chew. But we think you can still taste the ‘crunch’!”
If you stop by the ranch today, you’re likely to meet the new owner Mike Zarras. Ken has entrusted Mike to carry on his leadership with the same energy and care that has made the company a success for generations. Mike is propelling the company forward with fresh ideas to give every customer a satisfying experience.
On a hot afternoon or a balmy evening trickle the cider over cracked ice in a tall glass. For a lighter punch add a little water or your favorite carbonated drink. If you make the mistake of freezing “cider-sickles” for the kids, you’ll soon have to freeze more! A half-frozen “cider-slush” will cool the hottest summer day!
On a chilly winter night or at a holiday party add a dash of cinnamon and clover and server the cider in a big mug, steaming hot. Sippin’ just doesn’t get any better!
Crunchiest Apples You’ve Ever Sipped!
Is it Fresh Apple Juice, or is it Sweet Cider? Yes!
Have you ever wondered about the definition of the word “cider”? Here’s what Webster’s Dictionary says about it:
“Cider. The juice pressed from apples, used as a beverage or for making vinegar: sweet cider is unfermented juice, hard cider is fermented juice. The word was formerly used to signify the juice of other fruits.”
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