The fashion for cider is here to stay. Cider tasting rooms are being established all around the region, which makes it possible to enjoy the unique alcoholic apple beverage. Producers take things even further. Tabun Centre in Otomin near Gdansk was the first in the region to open a cider mill, where craft cider is produce.
This cider mill is a brand new investment. Pawel Falkiewicz, the family’s elder, together with his wife Barbara, has turned four hectares in Otomin near Gdańsk into a thriving business. First, the red brick house was built, which until this day serves agritourism function. Children of Mrs and Mr Falkiewicz became actively engaged in creating the centre. Horses were purchased, and therefore a stable had to be built, which is managed by their son Filip and daughter Katarzyna. A restaurant was also founded, which is managed by Agata, another of the owner’s daughters. The cider mill is another stage of development of the family business. Paweł Falkiewicz had already wanted to start production of cider some time ago. Agata’s husband, Michał Ponikowski, took on the task. The couple founded the cider mill and is together taking active part in production of the beverage.
– It is a dream come true for every parent for their children and their partners to continue and develop what they had started. It all started four years ago. We managed to obtain all required licenses, purchase equipment and open this unique for us place – advocates Michal Ponikowski.
The cider mill, which has been fitted into a small room, is equipped with a fruit mill, hydropress, bottle filling machine, specialist scales, and bottling equipment. The beverage is fermented in special tanks for approximately eight weeks. Tabun cider mill is able to produce a one-time volume of 1250 liters of apple alcohol.
– From 50 kg apples we obtain approximately 25 – 28 litres of juice – Michal Ponikowski explains. – Apples that we use come from a partner orchard near the town of Miłobądz. Our cider is produced from 14 kinds of apples, including six old varieties – he adds.
Before apples arrive in the cider mill, they are sorted, rinsed and thoroughly washed. They are then minced with a special device and put in the hydropress that squeezes juice from the fruit. The juice is poured into fermentation tanks. It is enriched only with yeast (though not always!) and sits until it becomes 6 % alcohol.
As Agata Falkiewicz-Ponikowska says: – Our product is 100% natural, dry cider. It consists only of apples and sometimes yeast. The one that we bottle is enriched with natural apple juice (to create a gas).
Although Ponikowski family puts their entire hearts in each batch, the cider does not always come out the same. – It is its charm. It all depends on apples. The final result is always a surprise. It is a similar story when it comes to wines – says Michal Ponikowski.
– I am very pleased that we have managed to open the first cider mill in the region. It is important to me that it is just another stage of development of our family business. We have a tradition that began with my parents and I think that we have been successful – smiles Agata Falkiewicz-Ponikowska.
Tabun cider from Otomin is available in Tabun restaurant. Soon the brand will be available in partner restaurants in Tricity area.