Apple Harvest & Processing – Making Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: Video

Beautiful red tree-ripened apples ready for processing into CoralTree Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

It’s Autumn time here in New Zealand. Organic Apples are being hand-picked straight from the trees and taken to Coral Tree for processing on the brand new juice press machine. The apples are very sweet and have high brix levels.

From here the apples are pressed to create a rich, flavorful apple juice, which then begins the fermentation process.

Hi, it’s Kim at CoralTree. Welcome back. We’re here at Apple Jack Orchards to harvest the apples and get them ready for the processing. Right at the moment, we’ve got these really cold nights and hot days; it’s the autumn time coming in. It’s what they call diurnal range, so when you get the cold nights and the hot days it’s triggering the apples to ripen, causing the coloring-up process as well as the sweetening process of the apples. At the moment, we’re still harvesting the early-season Royal Galas, but the Braeburns and Fujis are not very far away. We’ve been bringing them into the processing plant with the new machineries being set up now and working well with those early-season apples.

We’re still waiting for the later-season apples to start coming through and making sure that the machine is working really well with all of those, but we’re really impressed with everything that’s going so far. There’s some really nice fruit that’s coming through and in particular off one of the orchards, off the Apple Jack Orchard is some quite nice sweet fruit, so it’s got high brix levels. We’ve had that long, hot, dry summer, and it’s just really sweetened the fruit up and given some quite nice and tense fruit flavors.

What we are trying to do is get as many of the apples straight off the tree so that they are tree-ripened and then processing them as quickly as possible. As I mentioned in the earlier video, as soon as you pick something off the tree it’s removed from that life process and it’s starting to deteriorate. Although with apples you’ve still got a fairly large window of opportunity, you’ve got two or three weeks there to process their fruit, it’s nice to be able to process it straight off the tree and capture as much of that freshness as possible. It means then we can actually get the apples really, really ripe on the tree and be harvesting and juicing straight away so we’re getting that maximum fruity flavor coming through.

For me, it’s also part of that whole trying to understand the next stage that nature takes that fruit through. Nature is providing that fruit to the environment, but it’s also a built-in recycling process happening there, that nature will have those apples dropping off the tree and we’ll be naturally composting them back down into the environment anyhow. We are simply trying to take those apples at their premium time and bring those apples in through the processing plant and maximize that whole fermentation process that happens once those apples have been removed from the tree.

It’s looking like it’s going to be a good season. There’s good volumes around and it’s all happening, which is nice.