When life gives you apples, make cider. When life gives you too many apples, go into the cider business. At least, that’s what entrepreneur Michael Zercher, founder of the newly hatched Santa Fe cidery Santa Sidra, did — with delectably sweet (and deliciously dry) results.
Cider was once the drink of choice for Americans, but after Prohibition, when production of cider all but ground to a halt, it was somewhat forgotten, popping up only as a seasonal libation, a regional oddity, or a drink for sorority sisters and lightweights who liked their alcohol in soda form.
“I’d really been into cider for a long time, just as a consumer, and then I started making cider as a hobby,” says Zercher. “But then in 2012, there was a bumper crop of apples in New Mexico, more apples than anybody had seen in 10 years.” Zercher and his wife were traipsing around the state at the time, looking for different varieties of apples and talking to different farmers, when they discovered that due to the glut of produce, many of the farmers had apples that were hanging unpicked on the trees, going to waste…
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