You know Foxfire Mountain Adventure as the place to go in the Smokies for great outdoor adventure thrills like Ziplining, the Swinging Bridge to Prosperity, the Gorilla Climbing Wall, the Head-Rush Plunge, Tree-Climber Aerial Ropes Course and the Little Adventurer Obstacle Course for kids under 7 years old . And the Whispering Winds Canopy Bridges, the Wild and Woolly Watusi Farm and and the Bear Crawler ATV Tours. Whew! That’s lot to do!
Now you will be able to sample and buy several kinds of cider made at Foxfire Mountain, with the help of those Appalachian Mountains, cider-making Wyiles. Wyile’s are mythological creatures that came over from Scotland and Ireland when those settlers moved to America, and they settled in the Appalachian Mountains. They stand a little over 3 feet tall, live in the wilderness and build their homes in trees. They are fun-loving tricksters who can speak with the animals and are cider makers. Legend has it that they even helped Johnny Appleseed spread the joy of apples throughout America.
Matt Postlewaite studied cider making through Cornell University and apprenticed at Foggy Ridge Cider in Virginia. He is now the Cider Master at Foxfire Mountain and he describes cider-making as a fermentation process. Apples are naturally sweet and only yeast needs to be added to eat the sugar and produce alcohol. Apples are washed, ground and put into an Apple Press and the juice goes into a tank. Yeast is added and they experiment with different yeasts for different tastes. Once the sugar has been converted to alcohol the batch is ‘Cold Crashed’ down to 31 degrees and any particles fall to the bottom. The liquid is drawn off and put into huge plastic bags that are inside a Bagging Box. The cider is aged, then the Blending process begins.
Blending is the art form of the process where different batches are tasted and recipes created. Concentrates like Blueberry and Apple Juice concentrate may be added to create different flavors, and carbonated bubbles can be added to create yet another style of cider. The product is then bottled, capped and pasteurized and once the bottles are dried, the labels are applied.
Foxfire Mountain pays homage to Appalachia by naming their ciders after the Wyile’s of Foxfire Mountain, and you can take home bottles and jugs of the Wyile Ciders and interesting souvenirs not only from your Foxfire Mountain Adventure, but from your Cider Experience. Both will be memorable because the good folks at Foxfire Mountain will show you a good time and take good care of you when you are there. The Wyiles know this, that’s why there live at Foxfire Mountain
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