Cider Apples

drpraetorius(7)October 20, 2013

I am looking for apple varieties to make sweet cider. My understanding is that a better cider is made from a combination of apple varieties rater than just one. I currently have a Winesap and a Golden Delicious. I plan to add a Rome for sauce. That will give me room for two additional varieties. Any suggestions?

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First, can you tell us what region of the country you are in?

Cider apples tend to be a regional crop and produce best in their native region. Down here in Central VA zone 7, my recommendations would be an Albemarle Pippin (Newton Pippin) and an Ashmead's Kernel. Both are great all around apples for eating and cider. The Ashmead's Kernel has a strong following and is a bit more of a general purpose apple than the Albemarle Pippin. The Albemarle Pippin can be used to make a single variety cider, though as you said, blended ciders tend to be more common than single variety ciders.

An excellent expert on Cider apples is Tom Burford, who really helped get the cider industry established in Virginia. You can buy his book(s) online and see articles he has been interviewed for about the cider industry.

Michael Phillips' book "The Apple Grower" is a great source about organic apple growing and cider production with an emphasis on Northern cider apples.

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 6:46PM
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