To say that importing cider was an original part of the business plan would be a total lie. The truth is neither of us held the category in high regard, having only been exposed to the mass-produced, high sugar, made from concentrate ciders that still dominate the store shelves today. So how is it that the first producer we ever imported was a cidermaker; let alone a cidermaker from Estonia (a place I regret to admit I had to look up on a map)? Happenstance really; sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
We met Alvar and Veronika Roosimaa in 2017 at Prowein in Dusseldorf, Germany. They were easy to find; when you looked at the producer list by country France would have thousands, as would Italy, Spain, Germany and so on and so forth, but then there was Estonia with that magic number, one. After pouring hours and hours into research on the Prowein website curiosity demands that you click on something when you see one. So, we set up an appointment, if nothing else it would be fun to checkout, plus it would break up a day spent tasting heavy red wines.
To this day we have still never had cider as good. Hell after tasting the Rosé Becky told me if we did not import this, she would divorce me; I think she might have been serious! From my first taste of their Brut I was shocked that it was cider, to me this was wine, really it was Champagne. That’s what has always stood out about Jaanihanso, their dedication to quality. Organic farming, native yeast, Champagne method cidermaking, long aging for complexity, never fining or filtering, these are all hallmarks of Jaanihanso Cider. Perhaps more astounding is even after all the accolades and awards, and there are many, they never stop innovating or improving. Constantly coming up with new blends, styles, and production methods that push the limits of what people think of when they think of Cider.