Located just 10 miles north of Portland, Sauvie Island is the largest island in the Columbia River and now the home of Peak Light Cider. Farmers Jen and Travis Lovejoy have been living and farming on the island for five years and will use all estate grown apples for their small batch ciders.
More from a press release:
The Lovejoys called their home, Pivot Farm, part in reference to the change in their life upon moving to Sauvie. And pivot they have— from educators to farmers to cidermakers. With 65 apple varieties flourishing on 10 picturesque rural acres, they found they had heaps of fruit and plenty of work to do, both caring for the land day-to-day and figuring out how to close the agricultural loop from farm to table. They wanted to see their bounty of fruit go to good use.
Farming isn’t exactly new to the Lovejoys. Jen grew up on an Eastern Washington family farm and could run the wheat harvest with her siblings by the time she was in high school. Travis remembers his grandfather hand weaving nets for fishing expeditions into interior Kauai and always raising a family garden. Both find great value in working on the land and believe agriculture should be purposeful. Travis and Jen wanted to do something intentional with their apples that would help build community. Cider was the answer.
Over the last year and a half, the Lovejoys dug in— from soil to bottle, learning the ins and outs of orcharding and cidermaking. With the fermented juice from their 2019 harvest, Peak Light Cider was born. The family is committed to sustainability, employing organic and biodynamic farming practices. Their holistic approach results in clean, wholesome, flavorful fruit.
Peak Light Cider launches July 2020 with four unique offerings: Orchard Reserve Quince (750ml), Orchard Reserve Red (750ml), Field Run Dry (500ml) and Field Run Semi-Dry Ciders (500ml). All four Peak Light ciders feature blends of apples from the estate orchard. Much like the production of grape wine, specific apple varieties are selected for their naturally occurring sugars, acids, tannins and overall taste profile. The finished cider is lightly carbonated to effervescent, ensuring the complexities and nuances of the fruit still come through.
To connect cider drinkers to the land and offer education about apple varieties, the label back panels of Peak Light ciders feature a map of the Sauvie Island orchard, highlighting the individual trees apples came from for each cider with accompanying tasting notes. One of the Orchard Reserve ciders features farm grown quince in addition to apples, while the other is a deep ruby hue, the result of pressing red-fleshed apples.
All 4 Peak Light Ciders are available to order online with direct shipping to 38 states. The Field Run Dry and Semi-Dry will also be available at select retail partners in the greater Portland region soon!
To further build community, the Lovejoys are launching a club, Peak Light Cider Circle. Cider Circle offers members the ability to receive 6 bottles shipped direct to their door every 3 months at a discount. The debut Cider Circle shipment goes out mid-August, sign ups are happening now!
At the end of the day, the golden hour at Pivot Farm is a special one— surrounded by the Columbia and Willamette Rivers and Multnomah Channel with sweeping views of rural farmland and iconic snow-capped mountains of the Pacific Northwest framing the orchard. This expansive vista, the warm, soft light and sensation it evokes helped inspire the name, Peak Light. Peak Light is a moment for pause and appreciation, a moment that feels like coming home. Jen and Travis like to imagine a taste of coming home in every bottle.
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.