Our recent Cider (and Apple) Road Trip to Virginia sparked the desire to more actively explore apple varieties.
Becoming familiar with the unique qualities of individual apple varieties – through study and sampling – enhances the experience of drinking craft cider, allowing you to understand and taste how the fruit itself contributes to shaping a craft ciders’ profile.
Apple-centric highlights of our Virginia cider tour included:
A guided apple tasting at Vintage Virginia Apples/Albemarle CiderWorks, followed by orchard exploring to view the raw materials of cider still on the tree. Apples sampled and spied included: Dolgo, Hewes Crab, Pitmaston Pineapple, Razor Russet and Arkansas Black.
Charlotte and Chuck Shelton of Albemarle CiderWorks’ Virginia Cider Making demonstration tasting at The Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. Fresh pressed ‘sweet’ cider from Vintage Virginia Apples extracted via an antique manual cider press, and enjoyed in the midst of Thomas Jefferson’s restored experimental vegetable garden.
Three lively and informative workshops: Heirloom Apples & Artisanal Cheese Tasting, Apple Varieties for Organic Orchards, and Apple Varieties for Cider & Pie Making with ‘Professor Apple’, the esteemed orchard consultant, apple educator and advocate – Tom Burford.
And of course, securing copies of Tom Burford’s new book, Apples of North America: 192 Exceptional Varieties for Gardeners, Growers, and Cooks.
Follow the links below for additional information about the annual Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, and this years workshops. Plan a visit in 2014.
Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello
Virginia Cider Making
Chuck & Charlotte Shelton
Heirloom Apple & Artisanal Cheese Tasting
Tom Burford & Gail Hobbs-Page
Apple Varieties for Organic Orchards
Apple Varieties for Cider- & Pie-Making