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Oswald + Ruch
'As a chef, the important parallel I see between the kitchen and working as a wine and cider maker is that the quality of your product depends on the quality of the raw material you are using — it is as simple as that.'
Benni Oswald, a trained chef, first cut his teeth working with Jacques Perritaz of Cidrerie du Vulcain in the French speaking part of Gruyére. When he eventually returned to the Schaffhausen region, he started working for Markus Ruch, who himself had only started making terroir-driven wines a few years before. Already back then, Markus was known as a quality vigneron who had started tending his vines biodynamically. Over the course of the past few years, they nurtured their passion for ancient Swiss orchard fruit varieties, and eventually decided to establish Obstmosterei Oswald+Ruch.
The duo wanted to lessen their reliance on only one fruit (due to frosts being common in the area), which spurred them on to make apple, pear and quince ciders coming from local orchards that still work with hard-to-find heritage varieties such as Bohnapfel, Engishofer and Konstantinopler Apfelquitte. All the ciders are naturally bottle fermented ( just like Petillant Naturelle) and tend to be released without disgorgement, preserving a wholesome texture.
Having worked with Jacques Perritaz since 2017, we were thrilled to find yet another Swiss estate championing 200+ year old orchard varieties from hard to find (and hard to pronounce) varieties, preserving a deep cultural heritage that would otherwise disappear over the coming decades. The unique and incredible freshness is striking, and rarely found in the ciders produced in the UK or the West of France. These tend to focus on a rustic, tannin-rich style, rather than a more delicate, highly drinkable and fruit-forward style that we encountered with Cidrerie du Vulcain and Oswald+Ruch. If the world would value apples, pears and quince the way they value wine grapes, these ciders would possibly be some of most sought-after beverages in the world.