6 Favorite Ciders from Sonoma County

Fall is cider time, and Sonoma County is hard-cider central, with nationally recognized brands like Golden State and Ace as well as small-scale producers like Tilted Shed and Horse & Plow. We give them all props for preserving long-standing traditions, and for helping to rescue our heritage orchards.

Inclinado Espumante—Tilted Shed Ciderworks

A twist on Basque cider, with a hint of effervescence, made with dry-farmed Gravensteins from a single orchard. Hazy and oak-fermented, it has a wild flavor with a bit of funk. 7765 Bell Road, Windsor, tiltedshed.com

RosĂ© Cider—Goat Rock Cider Company

two cans of Rose Cider from Goat Rock Cider in Sonoma County

The mix of passionfruit and apples gives this pink cider both a rose color and the flavors of rosĂ© wine. A Good Food Award winner. Available online at goatrockcider.com

Zest—Ethic Ciders

Apples and citrus are perfect partners in this, well, zesty cider. It’s bone dry with flavors of tangerine and blood-orange alongside plenty of crisp apple and a zing of rosehips. Available online at ethicciders.com

Jamaica—Golden State Cider

Jamaica, a pink cider from Golden State Cider, being poured from a can into a glass

A nod to agua fresca, the beloved sweet-tart hibiscus water found at many taquerias, this refreshing cider gets the pucker factor just right with the combo of dry cider and the tropical, floral notes of Jamaica. Plus, it’s adorably pink. 180 Morris St. at The Barlow, Sebastopol, drinkgoldenstate.com

Hops & Honey Cider—Horse & Plow

Though it sounds sweet, this dry sparkler is a mix of 10 varieties of apples, dry-hopped with whole hops with honey added as a fermenter. Hearty, earthy, and entirely unique. 1272 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol, horseandplow.com

Blackjack 21—ACE

Blackjack 21 Cider from Ace Cider

The elder statesman of Sonoma ciders. This dry, celebratory cider features the Gravenstein apple, and is barrel-aged to mark the end of harvest season each year. 2064 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol, acecider.com

Written by Heather Irwin

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