A monthly look at Arizona wine with Valley dining impresario Pavle Milic.
As a teenager, Kanin Routson herded cattle on horseback on his family’s ranch in Prescott. It was during these outings that he discovered old apple trees growing along the property’s dry wash banks, small springs and gravel roadsides. In 2017, more than a decade later, he and his brother, Cody, along with their wives, founded Stoic Cider at the ranch. In an effort to preserve the trees – planted more than a century ago by early settlers – Routson planted an extensive experimental heritage orchard that currently grows more than 200 varieties. He coined it the Restoring Apple Diversity (RAD) Project.
I’ve had a chance to try most of the ciders thanks to my co-owner at FnB, Charleen Badman, who introduced me to Stoic. Made with local heritage apples and blended with wine grapes, the Stoic Javelina Rosé ($12) is a standout – it immediately sends fruity aromas up the bottleneck onto the palate and hints at a touch of sweetness, but is overall quite dry. The Hoppy Stoic ($10.50), made with Cascade and Chinook hops grown on the farm and blended with cider, is redolent of the hoppy flavors of an IPA but in a restrained fashion.
You can find out more about Stoic by visiting its website, but if you want to get your hands on a bottle ASAP, visit Joel LaTondress at Arcadia Premium in Phoenix, a gem of a beer and wine shop that showcases a great deal of local products. And for you lazies out there, they deliver.
11500 W. Fair Oaks Rd., Prescott
5618 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix