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Cider of the Week 19/3/19 - Tillingham Peaux de Pinot Qvevri Cyder

PSYCHE. Bet you didn’t think our beer of the week would in fact be a cider of the week.

We've been blathering on about these in a few newsletters but in case you missed it, this is an English cider made by an English winemaker, using Georgian qvevri (roughly pronounced kwev-ree). Qvevri are terracotta urns, kind of like Greek amphora, but buried underground rather than left above. They are used in traditional Georgian winemaking, where burying them underground keeps the temperature steady, protecting them from both bitter winters and sweltering summers. The shape is also important - due to the mysteries of physics, the liquid keeps moving within the qvevri getting nicely mixed up, while the skins (be they grapes, apples, or whatever else you want to throw in) get drawn to the pointed bottom. This means while there is some skin contact, it’s not too much, so it doesn’t get too tannic. 

We've got two Tillingham Qvevri Cyders in, Peaux de Pinot and Peaux de Pommes, aged on Pinot Noir and apple skins respectively.

Buried qvevri at Pheasant's Tears winery Qvevri outside Pheasant's Tears winery
Qvevri at Pheasant's Tears winery, Georgia

I recently had a friend over from Georgia, who worked at (qvevri fanatics) Pheasant's Tears winery when he first moved out there and is now making his own natural cider, so I felt I couldn't really offer him anything other than Peaux de Pinot. It is properly dry, with some tannins from the grape skins giving texture, fruity but not sweet. It was excellent with sourdough pizza, but I think would go with just about anything asking to be cut with a bit of acidity, or you could just drink it as is (after all, it's only 5.5%). Feel free to invite me over if you do.

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