It was at the Cyrus restaurant booth and co-owner Nick Petyon was on hand to serve it, a test run of sorts because this week it debuts on the menu of the highbrow Healdsburg restaurant.




The cocktail was a refreshing twist, a unique drink in a sea of wine. There were 250-plus wineries pouring at MacMurray Ranch so I was curious about this island of brandy, which, suffice to say, wasn’t deserted. It had piqued the interest of many who gathered around to hear more about it.


Here’s what we learned: The cocktail is made with ultra premium brandy called Apple-ation, the brainchild of vintner Guy Davis. He produces the brandy from fermented and distilled Gravensteins, which then spend 2 years in French oak casks and an additional six months in the bottle.


Who knew Gravenstein apples would have such a long shelf life?


Peyton said he wanted to do his part to preserve the Gravenstein apple, which is endangered because it’s more profitable to grow grapes than apples in Sonoma County. “We’ll be using Apple-ation in the restaurant a lot,” he said.


For people who like rituals, the brandy pays homage to the Gravenstein apple and makes a great fall rite of passage.