Harrison and Campfield cider still being made?


#1

Is anyone aware of a cider-maker that is currently selling the formerly-renowned cider of Harrison and Campfield apples?

Or, if you have made it yourself, how did you find it compared to other ciders?

Thanks.


#2

I know of places putting in acres of Harrison, but not a lot in heavy production yet. Abermarle Cider Works is using some Harrison in their blends - Jupiters Legacy and 1817 I think both have some. There will be a lot in a few years I expect.

I got into Harrison late as I spent years failing with European cider apples. I should be able to make cider in a couple more years. I also have Campfield; I’m not sure why more people are not planting that one as it is needed to reduce the acidity of Hewes, Harrison, and the like.


#3

Cummins claims that Harrison is da’ bomb.

@scottfsmith Call me when you make your first big batch of Harrison juice. I’ll come over and “help” you drink it! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#4

I planted Harrison this year, and will graft Campfield next year. I know that Campfield is the traditional blend for Harrison, but are there any others that will work as well? I’m just getting started with cider apples and learning as I go.


#5

I have young trees of the historic American cider apples- Harrison, Hewe’s Virginia Crab,
and plan to add in Campfield and Grannywinkle this season. The future of American cider is in the past…A friend cropped Harrison this past year here in Maine, and reported it was a late apple of very high sugar and somewhat high acidity. Maybe I’ll get to try some of the finished product this summer!
No doubt that there are acres of these trees getting planted with the cider boom in full swing.


#6

I have the same thought. Why struggle to grow English cider apples in North America when we had our own great apples that emerged here. Apples such as Harrison, Campfield and Hewe’s Crab have been dealing with our diseases for several hundred years.


#7

One reason why I don’t think there is any need to grow the European cider apples is in Quebec they make world-class cider from Cortland and the like apples. Its as good as any French or English cider. But you do need to work hard to find the apples that will succeed in your climate. For me I need late apples or the tannins will get baked out by the heat. Of course its no coincidence that Harrison and Campfield are late apples!


#8

Scott have you tried any other cider varieties that will stand up to heat? Our summers can get up to 110 here.


#9

Chris, I failed on all the Euro ones, then I gave up for awhile. So not a lot of actual experience yet. But my cider planting beyond the above two is Yates, Gilpin, and experimental trees of various other potential apples (Black Limbertwig, Winesap, Sweet apples, etc). All of these are late apples.


#10

Thanks Scott, sounds like you and I have a similar assortment.


#11

Well shoot… Now I’ve got a few more to add! Luckily this is the first year I’ll be grafting some english varieties, so if they fail, I’ll cut the limb and then put these two on other limbs!

How are they for disease resistance?


#12

I am trying Médaille d’Or, placed in the most protected spot. The two-story house protects it from the prevailing winds (its wood is reputedly brittle) and late afternoon sun. With second highest tannin levels I know of (only Bramtot beats it, to my knowledge) there should still be significant tannins for cider pressing.

Will it ripen a crop here? I am gambling the sunny and dry summers will speed its ripening and raise its sugars so it can be harvested the first week of November, if not the last week of October. Will it succumb to fire blight or something else? God only knows. I just hope to have a better experience with it than has Scott.

I hope to graft the beginnings of two Harrison apple trees, one atop the disappointing D’Arcy Spice and another on Geneva 30. If Médaille d’Or fails, I might just go with Redfield as the tannin ( and color) addition, since Redfield already. Campfield is still tempting as runner-up…


#13

I put in Medaille d’Or for a similar reason; that and it reportedly was a “vintage-quality” fruit in its own right.

I do not have a lot of cider-making experience, but plenty of experience with wine and am generally happy with how I can add winemaking tannin to cider to adjust that. There is no way to compensate for fruit that does not have the taste profile for good cider, though. If you have not tried it already, you might consider picking up some Redfield cider. I thought that it was fine, but not outstanding, and did not call me as a variety to add.

I recently put in a ‘Harrison’ to increase the vintage-cider-quality varieties that I have. If I add more cider trees, I think that I will continue to focus on juice flavor, as acidity is, along with tannin, is something that is easy to add (not only for the direct TA sensory effect, but acids other than Malic can improve flavor, in my opinion).


#14

Vohd: I hope to graft Harrison this season and someday, when the trees grow up, add a proportion of Redfield to that juice. Medaille d’Or is such a shot in the dark and may never ripen a crop, Redfield is already established in this neighborhood, so seems worth considering.

The climate here is so different from where Redfield has been used as a varietal cider, I imagine it would yield a very different product, all things being equal. It may still have enough acid and tannin to bolster the mouthfeel and all for Harrison juice.
All this is theoretical and perhaps rhetorical. Time will tell.