Budaprés – We are an apple nation

Dániel Haberl and his father have a cider winery. We’re writing winery because the concept and the process is the same as in the case of wine. However, the result is a pure cider that’s fresh on the nose and palate.

 

Dani was born in Budapest and following a few twists and turns, he turned from wine marketing to making cider. He learnt about the drink from his sister who lives in England, which was followed by tasting tours – from the British Isles to Normandy. He learnt the trade in England, from the best masters.

 

“We are an apple nation,” Dani starts the conversation. “The gardens and orchards are full of this juicy fruit, and the growers complain that they can’t sell the quantity grown for the right price. We would like to be good participants in this story – we constantly taste, visit new producers and experiment with exciting clones.”

 

The good news is that virtually all apples are good for making cider, but what they really call cider apples are the smaller-sized fruits. As the largest part of the flavours are in the skins, and the smaller apples have a larger specific surface, the result will be richer as well.

 

“We’re trying to create a cider culture here, in Hungary,” Dani continues. “In England, cider is the alternative for beer, in France, for wine. But here, it’s still not defined. It would be great if we could create a separate entity from the drink.” 

 

How is cider made?

 

At first glance, the production procedure does not differ significantly from making wine from grapes. Processing lasts from September until the end of November. The freshly handpicked apples arrive from a maximum of 30 kilometres away, then following careful selection, they are washed and ground. After that, the ground apple is put into a tank for maceration, so that most of the aromas can dilute. Then the whole thing goes into the press with pressure of 300 bars.  

“The harvest also happens in several steps – we harvest for acidity and sugar the same way as in the case of grapes. At the time of ripening, we walk through the apple orchard, we taste and we define the harvest date and quantity.”

After pressing, comes fining and pouring-over, then the 10-14 day long fermentation. The cider which is fermented to dry is sweetened by birch sugar.

All the ciders of the 2018 vintage are tank-made, apart from the Felhő, which was also given a bit of barrel. In the current selection there are two flavoured ciders: the Birs, in which the apples are processed together with quince; and the Kolmós, which is made with cold hop processing. And they’re also continuing to experiment with Williams pear.

 

The consumption of the ciders is the most enjoyable at 7 degrees, just like in the case of white wines.