Our first encounter with cider was in northern Spain. Cider (called sidra) has been made in Asturias and the Basque Pyrenees for centuries. We sampled sidra in small village siderias and in the growers’ barns. We didn’t meet a sidra we didn’t like.
Back home, I decided to try my hand a making cider. Armed with a couple of books, an antique cider press, and some apples from Apple Hill in Placerville, CA, Dori and I spent a day in the driveway crushing and pressing 6 gal of apple juice. A trip to Reno Homebrewer for buckets, carboys, and yeast and we were on our way.
Six months later, success. Back to Reno Homebrewer for wine kits and a beer kit. More success, and I was hooked on making my own. In 2003, I scrounged apples from neighbors, rented a high-tech crusher, bought Zinfandel grapes in California, and when winter came, started Czech- and American-style pilsners. Space is now at a premium in the basement and garage, but we won’t go dry next summer.
Janikuv Sklep is Czech for Janik’s cellar. My ancestors immigrated to America from Moravia and Silesia, provinces now part of the Czech Republic. Janikuv Sklep is a tribute to my Czech heritage. Zivio!
Take a little time to view the photos below. Click on the image to enlarge: click Back to return to the page. For more information on cidermaking, winemaking, and brewing, check out my recommended books and links.