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How is Brandy Made

Brandy is a spirit distilled from fruit, with grape brandy being the most common. Santa Fe Spirits takes advantage of the extremely flavorful apples of the Mountain West, giving Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy a distinctive terroir unlike any other brandy.

Apple tree with cactus

Just like the best grapes for wine grow in climates that stress grape vines into producing more flavorful fruit, the best apples for brandy grow in regions like the Mountain West where a harsh climate stresses apple trees into producing spectacularly flavorful fruit. Santa Fe Spirits celebrates the annual variations in flavor that the climate of the Mountain West imparts on its apples, and labels each bottle of brandy with a batch number and a bottle number, similar to a vintage for a wine. Turning these apples into brandy is a simple, four step process.

First, the apples are harvested and pressed, separating the apple juice from the apple flesh, or “pomace”. This is the traditional method employed in the production of Calvados. In order to retain delicate flavors and aromas, Santa Fe Spirits does not subject the fresh juice to any further treatment such as filtration, UV sterilization, concentration, pasteurization, or sulfites.

Apple press

Next, the juice is fermented by a combination of yeast and the native microflora present on the apples at the time of pressing. This symbiotic fermentation process adds a layer of subtle complexity typically found in fine Calvados.

Once fermentation is complete, the apple juice has been turned into hard apple cider and is ready for distillation. Santa Fe Spirits uses a hybrid of the traditional alambic charentais used to produce Calvados with the modern distillation column. This design gives the distiller the ability to produce a spirit with the precise flavor profile that best expresses the flavors and aromatics of a particular batch of cider.

Brandy stills

Finally the spirit is aged to perfection in 25 gallon oak barrels. The size and type of barrel is crucial to giving Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy its characteristically bold spice and vanilla notes that balance so well with its unusually bright and vibrant fruit profile.