Historic apple trees tell stories of our ancestors. Apples near the house were often prized for fresh eating. Seedlings protected by fence lines may have resulted from a sunny afternoon treat. Orchards of mixed varieties held the promise of apple pie, dried apples, and a sparkling glass of cider.
You might find five types of apples in the grocery store. However, at the turn of the century there were over 16,000 named apple varieties growing across America. Some of those trees may have held the genes for disease resistance, or tolerance to drought, heat, or cold weather events. Hard cider varieties took the biggest hit as cider consumption fell during and after the prohibition. Many foul-tasting cider apples didn’t survive the axes. Resurrecting these trees from relic orchards may be the key to a perfect cider.
Our passions are apples and pushing the boundaries of cider-making. By preserving unique apple varieties, we can find and promote a wider apple diversity. And, we can work toward a superior glass of cider.