Good Fruit Grower

August 2013

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Photo courtesy of tim Dressel Cider apples in France are harvested with these unique machines. The apples drop or are dropped to the ground and swept up, much as nuts are harvested in the United States, but with more grass and leaves. "It did expose me to their style of hard cider, which is different from what we're used to in the States. It's lower alcohol, usually unfiltered, very highly carbonated, and usually has a much more yeasty, farmhouse kind of style to it. We all loved it and drank a ton of it, although we all agreed that the American palate probably isn't ready for something like that. They're much more in line with tradition with their production techniques over there, to the point it's restrictive to the producers and sometimes prevents them from innovating." Also taking part in the exchange were: • Joel Elder from Tuthilltown Spirits, Gardiner, New York. This craft distillery produces the Hudson line of whiskies and vodka made from apples (called Heart of the Hudson and Spirit of the Hudson). • Jason Grizzanti from Warwick Valley —Tim Dressel Winery, Warwick, New York. They produce Doc's Draft Cider, American Fruits Apple Brandy, and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Apple Liqueur as well has having a pick-your-own orchard with retail store and café. • Derek Grout from Harvest Spirits and Golden Harvest Orchard, Valatie, New York. The distillery produces Core Vodka and Cornelius Applejack and has other products in development. It also has a pick-your-own orchard and a cider mill. • Jeff Soons from Soons Orchard, New Hampton, New York. Jeff is starting to make hard cider and is a partner in Orchard Hill Cider Mill making pommeau, a mixture of apple brandy and apple juice. The operation is an orchard and vegetable farm, with a pick-your-own orchard, a cider mill, and a farm store. • Dan Wilson at Slyboro Ciderhouse, Granville, New York. The cidery makes a line of still, sparkling, and ice ciders. It's also New York State's oldest you-pick orchard and has a cider mill. • Elizabeth Ryan at Breezy Hill and Stone Ridge Orchards, Staatsburg and Stone Ridge, New York. Elizabeth once produced hard cider (as Hudson Valley Cider Company), and she is reviving that this year in collaboration with a winemaker. Fruit grown at two orchard sites is sold at Greenmarket in New York City, as well as through CSAs, regional farmers markets, and other outlets. The farm offers you-pick and operates a cider mill, as well as selling other products. • Doug and Adam Fincke at Montgomery Place Orchard and Annandale Cidery, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. The orchard is on a historic site, with a micro-cidery. The orchard grows the largest variety of heirloom cider apples in the Hudson Valley region. A nearby farm stand sells fruit, vegetables, honey, and the hard cider produced by the farm. In an article she wrote, Grady said, "Let's put a spirited spin on that old slogan, and drink an apple a day—to keep away the suburbanization of the Hudson Valley and the extinction of our original elixirs. "With the Hudson Valley existing at the forefront of the local food movement, apples can become our emblem of a vibrant culture of regional food and drink. So, let's raise a glass of hard cider to toast apple biodiversity, orchardists' livelihoods, a future of fine local brandies, and, of course, our own homegrown spirit." "It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." • 38 AUGUST 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER

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