Mixing cider with vermouth may be trendy, but it doesn’t sound good to me.
We have a new hard cider place here in town (Freedom’s Edge…it’s on the Albion/Freedom, Maine town line)…they had their grand opening & first on-site tasting yesterday…vehicles were lined up and down the country roads leading to it. They’ve got a lot of money behind this operation so they’ve hit the ground running.
Albion is a funny town…a little over 2K population….very non-descript with a lot of dairy farms and gravel pits….yet we also are home to Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Swan’s Honey (the largest honey producer in Maine and our next door neighbor), the largest peach orchard in Maine (Locust Grove) and of course…us!
I may have shared this before. Halcyon Days in Natural Bridge VA has a great selection of home grown ciders. My favorite part was walking the labyrinth of over 2,000 dwarf apple trees, all bearing heavily.
You can just see the Virginia Gold Asian Pear orchard at the top right of this photo. Link below.
Make a day trip of it–stop at Halcyon Days Cider, the Virginia Gold Asian Pear Orchard, and eat at the Pink Cadillac diner across the street.
From my perspective it’s a lot more like fighting mother nature tooth and nail right up to harvest. Probably not the perspective that appeals to the moneyed class coming to spend big money on small batch cider.
I’m curious when the “big thinning” happens for all these outfits. It seems like the boom is nearing the peak now which means the bust is around the corner.
I taste tested with two of my sons but haven’t purchased any hard cider yet. I liked the sweeter ones myself. I mostly enjoyed looking at the fruit.
This is how they described the trees.
Through an 11-circuit path, you’ll wind your way through the modern American, heirloom American, classic European, and Central Asian ancestral apple trees to a pavilion with epic 360-degree views of the Alleghany and Blue Ridge Mountain ranges. It’s the perfect spot to soak in the peaceful surroundings and breathe in the fresh air. (If you’re lucky, you may discover a special surprise there too!) We invite you to explore the orchard along the labyrinth path and ‘lose yourself to find yourself.
I wanted to see this progression of fruit they alluded to. I was busy checking out all the trees and disappointed that they didn’t label more. Asked them about it and they said they didn’t have the time. I guess they have it mapped out??
Actually was disappointed that my MM111 trees were taking so long to fruit meanwhile their small trees were bursting at the seams.
That is a great advantage, but you are planting legacy trees- their bushes won’t last much more than a generation.
I cant argue with that @alan
I’ve always hoped demand for well-made cider would increase as supply increases. That might insure a future for at least some old heirloom varieties and possibly launch more backyard orchards.
This labyrinth layout is very creative. Looks like a lot of planning went into this orchard.
We had dinner at South Hill Cider in Ithaca this evening. As part of a fundraiser for Hurricane Relief, a special pop-up chef was brought in to prepare Southern comfort food. Ol’Time music was provided by a band that included the owner/cidermaker. Based on the size of the crowd, I’d say that cider remains trendy in these parts.
@Lodidian Agree- South Hill is one of the best. Cider has not caught on in the fairly rural area where I live in MD, possibly because this area’s apple growing era was over a century ago. I help find apples for some young friends who now make some very good home-made cider. The head cidermaker plans to start a cider orchard one day near the Finger Lakes.
That sounds great. I often miss living near Ithaca, though I can’t say that I miss the winter weather too much.
Now that I’m retired, I rarely have to go anywhere when the weather is bad. Driving through it is the only part of winter weather I don’t like.