Aleksandra Buła is the youngest cider maker in Poland. Despite her age (mid-twenties), she has the first success – her cider received an award at SISGA competition in Spain last year and recently she released her new cider.
Aleksandra got interested in cider just 4 years ago. Her mother has an orchard and juice press in village of Kolonia Świdnik Mały near Lublin (eastern part of Poland) so she started observing her mother at work. The name “Szczepanówka” is derived for her great-great-grandfather’s name Szczepan (Stephen in English) who was the first in the family to plant the orchard. Her mother already made some cider and instilled in Aleksandra knowledge and passion. Two years ago she started working on a family fruit farm and learnt more about the orchards, fruits and cider. She also started attending meetings with sommeliers and went to the University of Agriculture in Cracow to postgraduate studies of oenology. Aleksandra gained a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge, however, she thinks her adventure with cider has just begun.
That’s why she decided to go to Asturias to take part in SISGA event (more here). It is one of the most popular industry meetings for producers mainly from Europe, but there were also guests from the USA and Japan. It was the first time Aleksandra had the opportunity to try such a large number of ciders from different countries. Different flavours, different approaches, different production technologies, and conversations with producers – this is the greatest value of this trip for her. Aleksandra thinks that the most important things for her were to meet a whole bunch of interesting people and exchange experiences.
Her cider won an award – silver medal for dry cider Szczepanówka. That day it was also her birthday so it was the best present ever!!!
Her dream is to make ice cider and increase the production of cider. A few days ago her new cider Cydr Szczepankówka, unfiltered, lightly fizzy, has a premiere. She received very positive feedback from the customers. Despite the coronavirus and the lockdown in Poland, she doesn’t give up and keep up the good work.
Aleksandra thinks the main challenge for Polish cider is restrictions related to advertising. She said that the promotion of cider would make a huge difference in perception of cider as a drink. Some people don’t know what cider is and she thinks the education of customers is very important. She hopes it will change soon and there will be a lot of new festivals, farmers markets, etc. where she will be able to sell her cider.
We wish you good luck 🙂