Calaveras wine experiences abound throughout our family-owned and operated wineries that welcome you with their own distinct Calaveras vibe. A down-to-earth approach that doesn’t sacrifice what the people want…good times and great wine! In this three-part series, check out what a local couple discovered right in their own backyard…
Posterity Ciderworks – Mokelumne Hill
Take a little drive along the historic Golden Chain Highway 49 and right about at the Calaveras County line between Calaveras is the charming little town of Mokelumne Hill. Just west of downtown Mokelumne Hill (across Highway 49) you’ll find the welcoming couple who own Posterity Ciderworks, and every aspect of this place radiates wild, rural, and rare!
Husband and wife team Brendan and Kris chose Mokelumne Hill to build their cidery and craft their ciders using locally foraged ingredients and California apples, pears and quinces. Focused on using fruit from old orchards and homesteads throughout Calaveras, Tuolumne, and Amador counties to craft Posterity’s ciders, they invite everyone to be a part of their vision to preserve not only local fruit trees, but family histories that should be heard and remembered. And what else is wonderful is that Posterity’s ciders can now be found at TWO Michelin star restaurants in California – Localis in Sacramento and Atelier Crenn in San Francisco! Totally approachable with an attention to craftsmanship that is on par with the high standard you’ll find in Calaveras.
Touring the manufacturing facility takes about a half hour. Brendan shows you all the steps he takes to create his one-of-a-kind ciders. Hard cider lovers who enjoy delving into the science and history of cidermaking, regenerative agriculture, local history, and rare and wild fruit trees will 100% love this tour and conversing with Brendan and Kris.
A one hour tasting guided by Brendan showcases the thorough and thoughtful work that goes into creating each unique cider. This visit, we started with Inheritance, a light cider with notes of raspberry and bittersweet apple that is going to be perfect for Thanksgiving. Next was the 1890, crafted from the Sierra Beauty apple first discovered in the Sierra Foothills that same year. Brendan blended this apple with local crab apples and quinces for a bittersweet, butterscotch sparkling cider. The Many Plums of Mokelumne Hill is truly a community effort because Moke Hill residents granted Kris and Brendan permission to pick plums from all over their small town to make this cider. “A long carbonic maceration followed by a rest inside a bourbon barrel provided by Hinterhaus, our local distiller, brings you a wrap-you-up-like-a-cozy sweater cold weather beverage”.
Speaking of community, Posterity Ciderworks fully embraces and appreciates their small village. On July 4, 2022 during the Independence Day celebration in downtown Moke Hill, the cidery was processing 400 lbs. of peaches. Then, the fire planes started flying over the cidery and a large cloud of smoke rose above the nearby foothills – it was the beginning of the Electra Fire that lasted all of July, burned over 4,400 acres, and reminded everyone of the devastating Butte Fire seven years earlier. Many in the small town were under mandatory, emergency evacuation and had to stop their July 4th festivities, including Posterity Ciderworks. Thanks to the rapid response and brave firefighters, the fire was quickly contained without loss of life or property.
Posterity took the peaches from that day, added some green Thai chilis from Kris’ home garden to create Burn Scar, a sour and peachy cider with just a touch of heat. The cider isn’t spicy, just a note of green chiles, almost like a hard kombucha flavor. On September 1, 2023, Posterity will release Burn Scar and give a portion of the proceeds to the Mokelumne Hill Volunteer Fire Department. What better way to say “thank you” and give back to the community you love and strive to preserve!?
Posterity Ciderworks’ story is special, heart-warming, and important. They combine family, hard work, and the preservation of community to create something special and give joy to others. Definitely worth a trip to Mokelumne Hill!
MORE UNIQUE CALAVERAS TASTING ROOMS:
Hinterhaus Distilling – Husband and wife team Nate and Bonnie Randall relocated to Arnold and founded Hinterhaus in 2020. Great care goes into creating Hinterhaus’ vodka, gin and liqueurs that are distilled from Northern California wines, bourbon whiskeys aged 4000 feet above sea level and finished in a variety of local wine casks, and small batch American single malt whiskeys distilled from grains that are sustainably grown on family farms. Visit the distillery to explore a full-flight tasting or a well-crafted cocktail (can I suggest an Old Fashioned?) and cozy up in their Alpine-inspired lounge.
Olive Crush Farms – Tasting flights of local and international red or white wines, ciders and seltzers, and beers make for a wonderful afternoon of tasting some of the best that Calaveras has to offer. A family-owned and operated shop/tasting room/yummy lunch place in Valley Springs grown from a passion for locally grown food and delicious olive oil. My favorite was the margherita pizza paired with the white wine flight, while my husband loved the jalapeno popper pannini and a craft beer!
The Tipsy Frog – Tipsy Frog goes all out! Try local, regional, and international wines paired with cheese, dessert, or both! Located in Copperopolis at The Square at Copper Valley, Tipsy Frog owner Donna showcases not only local wines, but also great adventures to be had right here in Calaveras.