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Our Process

             Cuyama Orchards vinegar is made exclusively from organic apples grown on our estate in the upper elevations of the Cuyama Valley of California. The process begins with the selection of the best apples, which are then washed, sorted, and crushed to extract the juice. Selected varieties include Fuji, Granny Smith, Arkansas Black, and Crimson Gold apples.

             Next, the apple juice is fermented using a natural process known as "wild fermentation." This means that instead of adding commercial yeast or vinegar bacteria, the juice is allowed to ferment using the naturally occurring yeast and bacteria found on the apples and in the environment.

             Over time, the alcohol produced by the fermentation process is converted into acetic acid by the vinegar bacteria mother inside of an oak bourbon barrel. This gives the vinegar its characteristic flavor. This process occurs over a period of months.

             Once the vinegar has reached our desired acidity of around 7% it is then bottled before being sold. The resulting vinegar is a raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized product that is rich in flavor and nutrients, including enzymes, minerals, and beneficial bacteria.


What is the Orléans Process?

The Orléans process is a nearly lost traditional method for making apple cider vinegar that has been used for centuries in the Orléans region of France. The use of wooden barrels in the Orléans process is particularly important because the wood contains small amounts of tannins, which can impart a desirable flavor to the vinegar. 

Overall, the Orléans process produces a high-quality vinegar with a complex flavor profile that is highly sought after by many chefs and home cooks. This slow, natural fermentation process allows for a depth of flavor that cannot be replicated with modern methods of vinegar production which aim at producing faster and cheaper vinegar. 



Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad with Cuyama Pink Lady Apples, Cuyama Apple Cider Vinegar, Toasted Walnuts, Dried Apricots, and Aged Cheddar

From Chef Mario Hernandez at Frog Hollow Farm

Makes 4-6 servings

½ lb. of Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced using a mandolin, Benriner, or a chef’s knife
½ cup of dried apricots shaved thinly using a chef’s knife
½ cup of toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1 Pink Lady apple, stem and core removed, thinly sliced
8 ounces of aged cheddar cheese, shaved using a veggie peeler
1 cup of soup cream
Cuyama Apple Cider Vinegar to taste
1/3 cup chives, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a small mixing bowl, place the sour cream, chives, and vinegar, and mix until well incorporated.

In a large mixing bowl, place the salad ingredients, season, and dress with the sour cream mixture.
Place salad onto a large serving platter.
Serve at once.

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