News Letter Cidrerie Jara 3/3/2023
As Cidrerie Jara (cj.) project founder, František Algoldor Apfelbeck, I would like to present this overview of what we were up to during the year 2022 and to share our plans for the current year 2023. This is a summary, please check the links for further information.
Most importantly, from February 2023 I have decided to dedicate myself fully to the launch of the cj. project as my only activity and to minimise other paid work because I need to dedicate myself to the future of this project. If I have to, I will still take some side jobs, but from now on the priority is the cidrerie.
During the winter and spring 2022 we have decided not to bottle any of the cider produced during the autumn 2021 (season 2021) and destine all of it for distillation (around 230 hl (23 000 l)) resulting in around 1400 l of 68% distillate. Due to the warm late autumn and winter the fermentation was too fast. Without artificial cooling there was no chance to slow the process down. We want to keep to our policies to not use additives or filtration.
During the spring and summer 2022 the promotion and commercialisation were slow because I had another full time job. But we have managed to set up and update cj. pages, so since April 2022 we are updating the web site every few weeks with the current news. Our anniversary will be celebrated soon! Also we have participated to one cider festival "Tour de Fruits" in France and our samples were competing at World Cider Seal in Czech republic.
The autumn harvest, season 2022, started late, around the 10th of October compared to the 15th of September, which is the traditional optimum date. We harvested over 12 tonnes of apples, resulting in about 100 hl (10 000 l) of must (fresh apple juice). This winter was also quite warm but we managed to work the cider so that at the beginning of February we have bottled a brut, assemblage 1 at 1014. We filled around 2300 75 cl bottles. 220 l of micro cuvée of assemblage 1 with honey is aging in an oak barrel waiting for bottling. The bottling was done one month earlier than planned due to the weather. In autumn 2022 we finished the distillation of 2021 season, resulting in a total 1400 l of 68% alcohol. Most of it is already aging in oak barrels.
As to finances the investments into cj. for the year 2022 were higher than the income from the activity. The distillation of 2021 cider was 2315€, apples for 2022 cost 1227€ and pressing around 1300€, bottling of 2022 millésime was 3080€ and for the distillation of 2022 we expect to pay around 1000€. The sales are going up covering less than third of expenses. The deficit was mostly covered by resources from paid labor. So far none of the outstanding debts were paid, but no further money was borrowed. How much will be paid back this year will depend on the sales.
For 2023 we plan intensive promotion and commercialisation, starting February going on until the end of August and if the season allows we will continue during September, October and November. A few tasting events and markets each month are planned, plus festivals from time to time. From the sale perspective, December will be crucial. The online shop will be set up and tested within March as an important tool to enlarge our private customer base. We will participate at several international cider exhibitions.
The planning for the upcoming season 2023 will depend on how the sales develop which will determine how much debt we can repay and the funds left will determine the volumes we can transform. If there are no major negative weather events (early frost during blossom for example), 2023 will be big on apples. We would like to go back to processing 30 tonnes of apples because below this quantity the activity is not sustainable in the long term as a full time job which is the goal. This obviously means higher expenses for apples, processing, bottling and distillation. If this year sales go reasonably well, there will not be too much cider left from the 2019 and 2020 seasons, especially bruts which are the easiest to sell.
This is only a short overview, please have a look at the links for more info. Any feedback is appreciated!
Many thanks for your continuous support.
For Cidrerie Jara,
František Algoldor Apfelbeck