Empyrical was founded by husband and wife Adam Wargacki and Elizabeth Lockhart, in partnership with Elizabeth's parents Burt and Diane Lockhart. Our ciders are refined by considered sips, edited and blended by consensus. The central leader of our endeavor, Adam is a chemist, orchardist, and award-winning winemaker. Together with his brother Matthew, Adam has participated in the design and planting of several new regional orchards as well as ongoing educational efforts, lectures and workshops in community horticulture. As creative director, Elizabeth curates the brand aesthetic and our "Empyrical Pomona" - a growing collection of pomological artwork and literature.
THE EMPYRICAL EVIDENCE
Sip Best of NW 2022 Platinum (Heritage Sweet) - La Raison Reserve
Sip Best of NW 2022 Judge’s Pick (Fruit Cider) - Inquiry
GLINTCAP 2022 2nd in Class Gold (Traditional Perry) - Pyriform
Our empirical grail quest for the objectively superior cider began at our round table, and led us to the dooryard orchards of the Puget Sound lowlands and islands, nearly lost to the deep woods and the encroaching tangle of Seattle’s urban neighborhoods. For a decade we researched heirloom varieties by taste, text, and illustration - foraging from feral homesteads and the foxed pages of our 19th century horticultural library. Empyrical Orchard was thus planted in an historic style: not intensive, but intuitive. Double-spaced lines leave room to contemplate views of the Snohomish River Valley and Cascade Mountains, and vigorous roots promise a lofty canopy and generational abundance. In perpetual revision, the orchard has grown to seven acres of over 1,500 pome fruit trees. Peer-reviewed winemaking varietals of British and continental origin now flourish beside enigmatic seedlings and old American standards. Empyrical Orchard is a gathering place for the curious, a vessel fermenting enthusiasm for cider culture, a locus of imbued meaning and emergent terroir.
Empyrical Cider entered commercial production in 2021, and about 1/3 of our limited volume is now grown on- site in Snohomish, Washington. We blend our estate harvest with regional heirloom apples to attain the aromatic intensity and tannic structure of fine wine, enlivened by the fruit-forward approachability of a budding Pacific Northwest cider style. Fermented in oak and aged mostly in glass, we prefer the texture and flavor of cool, naturally conditioned wines. Every bottle is a rare edition, best poured carefully off the lees and warmed in hand.