This ubiquitous fruit has an astounding 7,500 known cultivars today and has been found at archeologic sites dating back to 4,000 BC. Sustenance and symbol, the apple is central to cuisine, culture, and myth.

Naturally, as apple lovers, surrounded by apple orchards, our spirits are made from apples. New York is the second largest apple producer in the United States, home to more than 700 apple orchards.

The apples that go into our products are all harvested from local orchards producing the state’s signature sweet apples like Spy Gold, Cortland, Kingston Black, and Liberty. The more varieties, the better. Each varietal has a different tannin profile and the tannins are critical to the quality of the final product.

After the apples are pressed we add champagne yeast. This step initiates the fermentation process, converting the fruit sugars into alcohol to produce hard cider. With apples, fermentation takes at least three times longer than with grains.

Here we come to a fork in the road. For Comsi Comsa, our artisanal sparkling wine, carbonation is added until we achieve a sophisticated effervescence. The final step is bottling, corking, caging, and foiling.

For Upstate vodka, using 16 and 18 plate, 2-column stills, the hard cider is distilled only twice. We keep the number of distillations to a minimum to retain the natural essence of our ingredients. With distillation, more does not always equal better, as each distillation can strip away more of the original character of a spirit. The heads, containing an unpleasant tasting alcohol, are removed and the tails containing lower, undesirable alcohols are also removed. Between the two, our Master Distiller expertly selects the coveted heart —190 proof pure distilled apples — which is blended down to 80 proof with local, spring-fed water and then bottled by hand.

Each batch is numbered and sampled by our Head Distiller, Ken Wortz. It only gets bottled if it meets his standards.

What Does it mean to be certified Gluten Free?

We get a lot of questions about our Certified Gluten Free Status and what that means. Sauvage can guarantee our products are gluten free. While many claim that all distilled spirits are gluten-free, the possibility of gluten cross-contamination in facilities that make vodka from grain is real. That is not going to happen in a 100% apple based, gluten-free distillery. There can also be trace remnants of the gluten protein left after the distillation process. We are proud that our distillery and products have obtained the most stringent gluten free certification from so our consumers can trust what they are drinking.