video by Tereza Kopelentová
Ivo Laurin and his wife Eva Laurinová moved from Prague, with an appetite for clean live foods and beverages, to the countryside in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands in 2013 to bring life back to a farm in existence since 1490. The farm included sheep, geese, chicken, carp, trout trees, and cider. They work with Czech heritage apple varieties from several sources of up to 80-year-old trees that offer a very diverse array of apples (55 different varieties in 2017!) of very high quality. Many of these trees, originally planted to provide feed for cattle, survived the dark decades of communism and even though they don’t make the best apples to eat, year by year Ivo and Eva are finding out that many of these varieties make excellent still, dry cider.
All of the Utopia cider is fermented only with spontaneous wild yeast in 225-liter oak barrels with zero sulfur added. From the fall through the spring these wild yeasts ferment the cider to dryness and then starting in the summer, wild cultures of lactic acid bacteria work on the cider, reducing the sharp malic acid, adding subtle levels of acidity and complexity. The barrels do not need to be cleaned with sulfur because they are emptied only when the next vintage of juice is ready to go in them, thus they remain in constant use. They bottle the ciders without fining or filtration, and they are allowed to rest and mature in bottles alongside the barrels. The total production is 14,000 bottles per year.
Utopia Blažena- dry, still cider
Total Production: 600 bottles
Orchards: Černovice, Dobešov, Těmice
Apple Varieties: Mothers, Spartan, Minister von Hammerstein