Lieb Cellars has joined the growing list of East End wineries and brewers to add hard cider to their offerings.
The new dry sparkling hard apple cider, called Rumor Mill, will be available for purchase online and at Lieb’s three tasting rooms—Cutochgue, Mattituck and East Hampton—starting this weekend.
Rumor Mill hard cider is made with a selection of apples sourced locally from Briermere Farm in Riverhead and pressed at Jericho Cider Mill on Long Island, before being fermented completely dry, carbonated and bottled at Lieb Cellars’ production facility, Premium Wine Group, under the direction of Lieb’s winemaker, Russell Hearn.
“I was excited to see what we could do with apples, and we’re very proud of the result,” Hearn says. “The cider is aromatic, fresh, crisp and shows distinct citrus, green apple and mineral flavors,” he adds, noting, “It’s a cider that we feel our Pinot Blanc fans will enjoy.”
The “Rumor Mill” name was chosen out of more than 50 suggestions from Lieb Cellars staff members. It speaks to the small town nature of the East End and how rumors start and evolve, the winemakers explain. In tiny type behind the logo on the label, Lieb showcases some of the more outrageous rumors circulating around town earlier this year—there’s something about a “XXL” big and tall shop, a singer from a boy band, a coyote and a naked beach, among many more rumors. For future bottlings, Lieb plans to update the labels with the latest gossip each year.
Rumor Mill hard cider is the latest innovation from Lieb Cellars, which made headlines this past year for being the first North Fork winery to open on the South Fork; and for releasing wine, under the Bridge Lane label, in new 3-liter box and 20-liter disposable keg formats.