Learn What Makes Our Cider Special!
Watch behind the behind the scenes to learn about Apple Lane Orchards Cider today!
Welcome to Apple Lane Orchards—Julian’s only USDA approved wholesale apple cider processor and Southern California wholesale apple cider distributor. Apple Lane Orchards employees gather apples from many orchards, but all of their apples rival the very best apples grown anywhere. All apples are harvested from orchard trees, collected, cleaned, and stored, as if politely waiting their turn to be tasted—by you and me.
At the Apple Lane Orchards processing facility in the historic old-west town of Julian, California, the apples are painstakingly selected for a balance between sweetness and tartness. Apple Cider and juice makers often make their own recipe of cider, and true to form, Apple Lane Orchards blends different apples together to get the perfect combination—their own “SECRET” recipe.
Apple Lane Orchards usually works with a precise blend of six or more apple varieties. When it comes to the tart, Apple Lane Orchards uses primarily three tart apples in each production blend: Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Braeburn. When it comes to the sweet, however, we have many choices subject to our available supply and our farm manager’s whim. Fuji, Gala, Johnny Gold, golden delicious, red delicious, Mutsu, Johnathan, and MacIntosh are all apples used in one or more of the Apple Lane Orchard’s Apple Cider blends.
Interestingly, it takes about 13 pounds, or a third of a bushel of apples, to make one gallon of cider. Once the apples are harvested from trees in orchards during the fall, or are removed from a refrigerated warehouse during the off-season, they are brought to the Apple Lane manufacturing facility and transported by a conveyor to a hammer mill to be ground down into what is called pomace or mash.
This pulp mash or pomace is then transferred to the cider press and built up in layers into a block. Traditionally the method for squeezing the juice from the apples involves placing cheese cloths between the layers of pomace. These cheesecloth “patties” are built up using the pomace until there is a rack of ten or twelve layers.
The rack is then subjected to increasing degrees of pressure, until all the juice is squeezed from the pomace. This juice then flows into an open plastic vat awaiting “flash” pasteurizing.
Every part of the apple is salvaged with the pressed pulp from the juiced apples collected by astute farmers raising animals as winter feed.
At Apple Lane Orchards, we sometimes hear clients speak of “apple juice” when they’re really technically speaking of “apple cider.” In historical days, raw cider began a fermenting process creating alcohol which, lacking refrigeration, was the natural process that allowed the refreshing drink to keep from becoming rancid and spoiling. Although the alcohol did pack quite a wallup. When modern refrigeration emerged, cider and other fruit juices could be kept cold for long periods of time, retarding fermentation.
Any interruption, however, in the refrigeration process could invite contamination to begin. As you might expect, outbreaks of illness from careless or selfish manufacturers resulted in government regulation of all apple cider manufacturers causing virtually all commercially produced cider to be treated either with heat or radiation to prevent bacteria and fermentation.
Apple Lane Orchards is a licensed and certified manufacturer in good stead with the federal US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Apple Lane Orchards complies with Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP), and is licensed to maintain Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) using clean, healthy GMP practices and heat “flash” pasteurization to achieve a Government-acceptable reduction in pathogens.
Apple Lane Orchards currently distributes ONLY flash pasteurized “apple cider” and not heavily pasteurized “apple juice”. Though “apple juice” and apple “soft cider” are both fruit beverages made from apples, there is a significant difference between the two. Fresh “Apple Lane Orchards apple cider” is raw apple juice that still contains small particles of pulp and sediment, and then flash pasteurized to maintain its exotic taste and provide a 30-day shelf life or until the date marked on the container.
“Apple juice” is this same juice that has been filtered to remove all solids and then fully pasteurized so that it will stay sterile for 14 or so months. Unfortunately, hard pasteurization removes much of the exotic taste.
Once pasteurized, the cider is injected into clean new pint, quart, half gallon, and gallon containers for consumption. These containers are capped, cleaned for any residual or spilled juice, and delivered to Southern California retail businesses for resale within 80 miles of Julian, CA.
Apple Lane Orchards delivers the freshest quality enticing flash pasteurized apple cider in the country. Contact us for more information. 760-765-2645