Monday, July 15, 2024

Cider maker Endless Orchard wins top honors at Northwest competition

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Endless Orchard Hard Pressed Cider, a new entrant in the craft cider industry, has garnered attention at the 2024 NW Cider Cup by securing two awards, including Best New Cidery of the Year.

The competition, held June 20 at Holocene in southeast Portland, Oregon, is regarded as the most rigorous cider contest in the United States. Organized by the Northwest Cider Association since 2016, the event features blind judging and aims to elevate the cider category while providing feedback to cidermakers.

Endless Orchard, a business unit of Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF), also claimed a Gold Medal in the Herbed Botanical Category for its Boundless Blueberry Basil Cider. The company exclusively uses Arctic® apples, developed by OSF, in their cider production.

Don Westcott, President of OSF, explained the company's approach: "Arctic apples offer a unique non-browning trait, and the result is a cider that is in a class of its own and provides a truly one-of-a-kind drinking experience." He added that the venture reflects the company's commitment to sustainability and increased apple utilization.

The Best New Cidery award is presented to the producer with the highest point value from medals among those who have been commercially producing for one year or less. This recognition comes just one month after Endless Orchard officially launched its tasting room.

"These two awards are a testament to our team's passion for crafting high-quality ciders that showcase the unique flavors and attributes of Arctic apple varieties," said Vicki Daigneault, General Manager of Endless Orchard Cider. "We are absolutely thrilled to be recognized with these accolades. I am so proud to see how far our team has come in such a short period of time, especially considering we only officially launched our tasting room last month."

The Northwest Cider Association, which organizes the NW Cider Cup, is a regional non-profit with nearly 300 cidery members. The competition serves multiple purposes, including providing feedback to cidermakers, educating cider enthusiasts, and promoting the cider industry as a whole.

Endless Orchard's cider production facility is located in Wenatchee, with a tasting room in Chelan. The company's Boundless Blueberry Basil Cider, which won the gold medal, is described as a blend of ripe blueberries and fresh basil, creating a complex flavor profile.

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