Uncle John's Fruit House Winery, located on US27 North in St. Johns, returned home from the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival in Grand Rapids earlier this month with a dozen new pieces of hardware. According to owner and cider maker Mike Beck, the 8-year-old winery was awarded five gold medals, five silver medals and two bronze medals, including:
Cyser (4 entries)
Gold - Cyser
A fresh blend of Apple Wine & Michigan honey, with subtle hints of melon, honey and spices.
Common Cider (35 entries)
Silver - Seasonal Baldwin
A Varietal Cider made from an apple that was our Nation's #1 planted variety during its 100 years of existence.
Silver - Original Hard Cider
Full-flavored, crisp and refreshing with just the right amount of carbonation.
Bronze - Bourbon Barrel Cider
Dry Cider aged in Bourbon Barrels to give it a hearty Bourbon character.
Perry (6 entries)
Gold - Perry
Made from juicy Michigan Bartlett pears; semi-dry and sparkling with carbonation.
Fruit Cider (16 entries)
Gold - Apple Cranberry
Full-flavored, crisp and refreshing, barrel aged for approximately 4 months.
Bronze - Apple Cherry Cider
A carbonated blush made with fresh apple hard cider, mixed with Michigan Cherry Juice.
Apple Wine (10 entries)
Silver - Apple Wine
A Semi-Dry wine from a blend of apple varities. Crisp & refreshing and great for mulling.
Specialty Cider (19 entries)
Silver - Fireball Cider
A cider blended with Atomic Fireballs that is fun to drink and takes you on a stroll down memory lane.
Gold - Apple Dessert Wine
Starting with fruit wine then fortified with brandy from the same fruit.
Distilled Eau de vie (5 entries)
Gold - Vodka
This is not apple "flavored" vodka, rather vodka distilled from apples. It is ultra smooth and clean with gentle fruit and spice notes. Made with Uncle John's apples, coming in at 86 proof.
Distilled - Brandy (Oak Aged) (6 entries)
Bronze - Apple Brandy
A 90 proof brandy distilled from apple cider boasting subtle fruit bouquet with flavors of spice and leather, followed by a toasty oak finish. A nice earthy note finishes the palette from aging in French and American Oak Barrels.
The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Competition has grown to become the second largest cider and perry competition in the English-speaking world, behind the Royal Bath & West Show in Somerset, England.
This year, the competition showed notable growth with the number of commercial entries more than doubling. There were 19 categories of entry in three divisions - two commercial and one non-commercial. Entries came from 17 US states and three Canadian provinces, as well as producers in the English counties of Herefordshire, Warwickshire, Dorset and Suffolk. The 6th annual competition is sponsored by the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association.
The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in 2008 with a mission of promoting cider and perry and of providing related educational opportunities for producers and consumers. Its core membership is comprised of commercial and noncommercial cidermakers in the states and province bordering on the Great Lakes. Additional information about the Association may be found at http://www.greatlakescider.com/.
Centrally located in the state, Uncle John's Fruit House Winery mixes traditional agri-tourism with a Winery and Tasting Room. Uncle John's specializes in Fruit Wines, Hard Ciders and Perrys. Aside from the fruit wines, we also feature traditional grape varieties, as well as Apple Brandy and Vodka made from Apples. The winery and tasting room is housed in an 85-year-old restored fruit packing house and is located beside Uncle John's Cider Mill, Pie Barn and Gift Shop. Uncle John's is located at 8614 N. US 127, seven miles north of St. Johns and four miles south of US-127 and M-57 intersection.
For more information, visit Fruit House Winery online at http://www.fruithousewinery.com/.