In our 8-acre orchard, we grow apple varieties that were historically used for making cider in North America. Our principal varieties consist of the following:
Golden Russet -- an early American variety that was highly prized for cider, mainly because of its high sugar content. It also possesses excellent keeping properties, which made it especially popular in the days before cold storage. It is favoured for fresh eating and culinary uses.
Roxbury Russet -- generally regarded as North America’s oldest named variety, originating from Roxbury, Massachusetts in the early 1600s.
Wealthy -- originating from the seed of the Cherry Crab planted in about 1860 by Peter Gideon of Excelsior, Minnesota. This is the first cold hardy variety to gain commercial prominence.
Snow -- also called Famuese, thought to have originated from a seed planted in Quebec by missionaries in the early 1600s. Snow is a parent of McIntosh, another famous Canadian apple that went on to parent several other popular varieties including Cortland, Empire and Spartan.
Tolman Sweet -- mention this variety to any old-timer in the Valley, and you’ll likely spark a smile. This is a very sweet apple that retains its shape when baked in the oven, and made a favourite childhood treat in the days when candy was scarce. Its high sugar and low acid levels make it a valuable cider ingredient.
Varieties currently growing in our test orchard include Harry Masters Jersey, Kingston Black, Porter’s Perfection, Tremlett’s Bitter, Bulmer’s Norman, Yarlington Mill, Chisel Jersey, Brown’s, Michelin, Bramleys, Karmijn de Sonnaville, Caville Blanc, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Pomme Gris, St Edmund’s Russet, Reinette Russet, Knobby Russet, Ribston Pippin, Dutchess, King, Blue Pearmain, Red Astrachan, Newton Pippin, Gold Rush, Pink Pearl, Chestnut Crab, Hewe’s Crab, Bilodeau, Deuce de Charlevoix, Banane Amere.