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E.Z. Orchards Orchardist and Fermentor Kevin Zielinski Talks Hawk Haus Cider

91 Rating - Exceptional
E.Z. Orchards Orchardist and Fermentor Kevin Zielinski Talks Hawk Haus Cider

We spoke with E.Z. Orchards Orchardist and Fermentor Kevin Zielinski about Hawk Haus Cider.

BC: Who came up with this cider’s recipe? 
The blend and design of Hawk Haus Cider was constructed by me. The fruit for this cider was grown at E.Z. Orchards. 

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this cider (flavor, aroma, etc.)? 
The dominant character of this cider is the light floral aroma. The cider is composed of three apple varieties: Jonathan, Yarlington Mill and Manchurian Crab. This trio delivers a bright front that speaks of fruit, a solid width at mid-palate presented by the rich tannins found in the Yarlington Mill fruit with a sustained finish provided by a well-absorbed CO2 structure finishing near to dry. I enjoy the presence of malic acid followed by ripe fruit in the Hawk Haus.

BC: Where does this cider’s name come from? 
The name is in homage to the Kestrel Hawks that nest and hunt in the Jonathan orchard. The use of the Germanic form of "Haus" is a result of my attraction to the Austrian Secessionist movement of the late 19th - early 20th Century.

BC: Is this your “desert island cider?” 
Yes, if it is a warm island. This cider, served cold or at cellar temp, is brisk but not heavy. I do not find a tiring effect within this cider.

BC: Can you describe this cider in 10 words or less? 
A brisk front, a violet aroma, sustained dry tannin effervescence.  

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this cider? 
This cider is truly of rich heritage. The Jonathan apple is a North American Heirloom variety dating from the 19th century. This apple reveals the type of apple that was desired prior to modern refrigeration, when a single variety found use at the table as food, cider and vinegar. Fruit would be dried, cooked into apple butter, pressed into juice or fermented. All to stabilize and preserve the fruit for enjoyment throughout the coming year. The fruit is aromatic and flavorful. I call this a Pre-Prohibition style cider. The fruit, the method of ferment, and of great importance, the finishing of this cider is pre-modern cider. This cider is finished Petillant Naturale, a sincere and honest method of carbonation that I advocate for. 

BC: What's a good food pairing for this cider? 
I suggest pairing this cider with Southeast Asian food. The acid and length on the palate are pronounced in support of the characterful strengths of many of these food traditions. Mushrooms, Tofu, Pork Belly, bitter greens, the presence of sharp red and green pepper spices. The dry texture of the Hawk Haus completes a harmony and finishes with an elegant note in the chorus of flavors. 

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