Region: Lake Michigan Shore AVA
Maker: Round Barn Winery, Baroda, MI
Round Barn is a jack-of-all-trades winery. Located in the heart of the SW Michigan Lake Michigan Shore AVA (American Viticultural Area), they cut their teeth on the white wines and fruit wines that are the lifeblood of the Michigan wine industry. They have branched out into brewing and distilling, producing (or at least bottling) a vodka made from their own grapes.
The concept of an apple wine still seems odd to me. Why not drop the prentense and call it a cider? But after a few drinks, I understand why they call it an apple wine. First of all, as you may have noticed, the alcohol content is much closer to a wine than a typical cider, which frankly is a little dangerous, I can already tell you. It is also more acidic than typical ciders and has a delicate dryness that is as close to a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc as it is to a glass of Woodpecker, for instance.
Still, the apples are leading the charge. It is in the lighter, dry style of most British ciders. The smell reminds me of working my way through grad school in the childcare industry and the hordes of apple juice guzzling children I shepherded through their single digits. It lacks the robust body of my favorite ciders, but has a lightness that makes a good change of pace on a summer afternoon.