botanist and Barrel
ABOUT Botanist and Barrel
Cedar Grove, NC is a quaint little township just north of Hillsborough. It’s a farming community that once focused on tobacco, but is slowly shifting to fruits and veggies, especially apples and blueberries. On Cedar Grove Blueberry Farm is Botanist and Barrel, a farmhouse cider and winery focused on natural ciders and wines. “The soul of the farm is its soil,” says Lyndon Smith, one of the owners. Its sandy loam soils are rich with perfect drainage for blueberries and apples. The farm is certified organic, “never spray” and is also dry-farmed, meaning we don’t irrigate. As a result the fruits are bursting with flavor and terroir. “These' are the best berries on earth,” says Smith.
To highlight the true terroir of the farm, we capture the wild yeasts from the bloom of the blueberries and ferment some of our beverages with native yeast. “using native yeast just highlights the sense of place,” says Kether Smith, cidermaker and co-founder. “We wholesale and do lots of collarborations with other producers and our berries always shine through. You know they are from Cedar Grove,” says Amie Fields.
As certified organic farmers, we value quality over quantity. Similar to world-class viticulture for wines, we farm for flavor by dry-farming. While this keeps yields down, it keeps quality up. We partner with other farmers who share our belief. As fruits contain a 'bloom,' the powdery white coating found on fruit that contains ambient yeast. We love this natural and wild yeast and have isolated and banked our farm's wild blueberry yeast to create unique and lovely ciders.
Our ciders are made without additives. They are 'still alive' as we never kill or remove the mixed cultures (yeasts) through unneeded processing. We choose not to fine, filter, or pasteurize.