Botanist & Barrel crafts a variety of ciders, sours, and dry fruit wines. Using techniques from wine-making, brewing, and mixology they are constantly blurring the lines. They are Orange County’s first winery and cidery, situated just north of Hillsborough, on Cedar Grove Blueberry Farm. They are also farmers raising dry farmed, no-spray, organic blueberries, for the best estate grown fruit on earth.
Founded in 2017 by brother and sister team and Orange County natives, Lyndon and Kether Smith focus on light-handed winemaking using old world methods with modern sensibilities. They lean towards whole fruit fermentation and make natural beverages with no additives or forced carbonation. They ferment to zero residual sugar and the ABV ranges from 7% to 15.5%. The ciders and wines are raw, wild, unfined, unfiltered, unpasteurized and you will find both still and sparkling ciders. They age in everything from tequila barrels, to sea salt bourbon barrels, to rum, to sauternes, to tawny port to bourbon maple syrup barrels.
Botanist & Barrel is hyper-local, sourcing ingredients whenever possible from within 200 miles of our farmhouse winery.
Orchard to Glass
We embrace the ideals of the ‘Farm to Table’ & ‘Slow Food’ movements focusing on hyper-local ingredients from small farms (and our own farm).
Natural & Wild
Our flagship ciders are spontaneously fermented with wild and native yeasts. We don’t use additives of any kind.
Terrior & Taste
Our ciders have a ‘sense of place,” expressing the aromas, flavors and soul of our farm and neighborhood.
A Healthier Adult Beverage
There is a growing trend toward healthy raw probiotic beverages on the social beverage scene. We craft raw ciders that are good for your gut. Our ciders are made without additives. Our ciders are ‘still alive’ as we never kill or remove the mixed cultures (yeasts) through unneeded processing. We choose not to fine, filter, or pasteurize.
It’s all about the Fruit
As a 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. All 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.
The South has an abundance of talented farmers raising beautiful fruits perfect for fermentation. We source everything as locally as possible and use what the forests and fields around us provide. We are very proud of our series of original ciders focused on highlighting the true flavors and heritage of our region from foraged and forgotten fruits. People before profit is a key value of ours.
Blurring the Lines
We craft our ciders using techniques from wine-making, brewing, and mixology. We constantly visit other fermenters and collaborate with other artisans; from cheese makers to tea makers to distillers. For us, lines are meant to be crossed.