An Apple a Day at New Sonoma Cider Taproom

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Robert Cordtz and his father, David Cordtz debuted their 16,000 square foot distillery and warehouse in a former auto part store on Mill Street in late 2013. And now, the duo has unveiled a full tasting room and restaurant, the Sonoma Cider Taproom & Restaurant spanning 5,000 square feet just steps away from the production facility.

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As much as possible, the ciders are made with local fruit from Healdsburg, Sebastopol, and other Sonoma County towns. Gravenstein apples are a particular favorite, along with other varieties for the eight base ciders plus seasonal ciders and new products like an 85 proof apple brandy.

The result is inventive recipes like Crowbar, made with organic apples, organic habanero peppers and organic limes, The Pulley spiked with fennel for an absinthe-style black licorice hint, or a Jax cider infused with honey, toasted buckwheat and cinnamon so it tastes uncannily like Apple Jacks breakfast cereal.

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Not surprisingly, the kitchen leans toward apple inspired cuisine, too, to complement the beverages’ traditional easy drinking alcohol level typically ranging from 5 to 7 percent, and crisp, clean finish.

Guests can snack on cider-brined olives, French onion soup slow cooked with Sonoma Cider Apple Brandy, burrata and arugula dressed in lemon-apple sherry vinaigrette, or Apple Jax grilled cheese of buttered sourdough stuffed with gooey jack cheese, applewood bacon and organic apple slices.

Even the simple house salad showcases the sweet-tart fruit, in a mix of
Baby Gems, red onion, tomatoes, Idiazabal cheese, crou¬tons and creamy herb dressing. Plus chopped apples. Just as it should.

44 Mill Street, Healdsburg, 707-723-7018, sonomacider.com.