The Cider Story

Regular readers of this blog know that I like hard apple cider.  Irish is my first choice followed by English, then French and finally American.  I really enjoy cider especially in the summer.  Sometimes when we visit the CarreFour I am able to get some French.  And last summer when Chino’s people were moving things here from England what should happen to fall on their truck but a case or two of English cider.  So I have had a fairly steady supply.


But imagine my delight when friends, Tania and Keith announced they had found a maker of hard cider just an hour away, near Montepulciano.  In February, they brought over a bottle for all of us to share.  It was soooo good.  And cheap they said!  Less than half a Euro a bottle.  You know, it was just an hour’s drive.  Ben and I could run down and pick some up.  Well, with a steady, inexpensive supply assured I started dipping heavily into the stock of the English cider. 


So off we went.  Well the hour’s drive turned into two and a half since it was so hard to find the place.  But finally we did.  It smelled so good in the apple warehouse.  Either  apple scented car fresheners are used in the warehouse or the idea for apple scented car fresheners came from someone who worked in an apple warehouse.  Really, really great smell.


We found the cider.  I was ready to buy 6 cases.  Some for me and a few bottles to drink with guests, a few to give to Paolo at Il Cacciatore, a few to give to Caffe Luna, a few to give to Bar Madison, with hopes of persuading all but the guests to stock and serve it. 


“So how much is a bottle?”


“4.90 Euros a bottle”


“WHAT????”  Even Ben has understood this and is looking as baffled as I am.  The man waiting on us takes us over to the desk where there is a price list from 2010 hanging (and it looks used, not fresh off the presses) and shows me that the price drops to 4.40 Euros a bottle when you buy more than a few cases.  I am still stunned.  So what I thought I was going to be spending on 6 cases is almost what I am spending on one case!  Yikes!  Still shocked, I realize that we have driven so far that I should  go ahead and buy a case and not just one bottle. 


We load up and start for home.  Ben and I discuss it.  Finally we decide that when Tania and Keith bought multiple bottles, the guy figuring the bill put the decimal point in the wrong place.  So instead of 12 X 4.90 he figured 12 X .490.  They were also buying other things so it all was clumped together and they got the deal of the century!


Back in November, I had found on the internet a different place that made hard apple cider.  So on another day Ben and I set off for there.  It was near Paciano which is near Lake Trasimeno.  We used to vacation in that area, so with the vaguest of directions we set off.  This place actually had signs up.  (What a concept, if you want to have customers, put up signs pointing the way)  Of course the signs could only be seen if you were traveling in one direction.  We only saw them since we decided we had gone too far and turned around.  Anyway, we got there.  And again the great smell. 


Paciano is in Umbria.  The regional government must have been giving out grants for solar power. 


daffs and guest house 2011 024

These were in the fields, there were panels on top of the buildings and inside…


daffs and guest house 2011 021


a counter to let you know how much energy they had created.  A very modern operation.  Well run and nice folks.  We bought cider and some balsamic vinegar made from an apple rather than a grape base.  Pretty tasty.


daffs and guest house 2011 020


View of Paciano (I think) from their farm.  Their web site  Their cider was .20 Euros less per bottle. 


Still have not open any from either place.  Just waiting for it to get a little warmer.  But I’m looking forward to it.



  1. jane mirko

    Hi Martha,
    Loved the cider story – it’s been a long time since I checked on Friends and Family, but so worth the wait. I retired from NOVA this month and still foster hope of visiting….having some health issues so hope there will be an all clear and I can make some plans. Meantime, finishing up house projects. Your blue Florence pillows are chaming. How’s the garden this year?


  1. Updates on Esselunga, Cider and the Crickets « friends and family in italy

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