Cidermaking is an incredibly old craft, and one which was central to colonists in the early days of the emerging nation of the USA.
Click here to see vignettes on the various varieties Diane grows.
Apples come from such a unique plant. For example, they have about 27,000 more genes than humans. Their genetic ancestors once grew in the mountains of Central Asia, the modern day species grew wild in Turkey. Apples come from the tree that is most likely the earliest to be domesticated by humans, and with good cause-- apples are a portable and time-stable source of food. They can also be dried and stored for traveling or long-term food supply, and they lend themselves easily to rehydration in soups and porridges.
In 328 BC, Alexander the Great purportedly brought dwarfed apples back to Macedonia from Kazakhstan.
1625- William Blaxton planted the first apple orchard in the Americas, in Boston.
1776- Cider was a major part of many colonists' diets, including most of those who signed the Declaration of Independence. John Adams, for instance, drank a tankard (over 1 liter) each morning before breakfast. No wonder they had the guts to secede from Great Britain!
1790-1805 (circa)- Jonathan Chapman-- aka Johnny Appleseed-- begins his career as an orchardist. Like grapes, each seed will produce a unique variety, and for consistency many orchardists graft branches from their favorite fruit trees onto the trunks of other trees to have uniform orchards. Johnny Appleseed is credited with taking a more unique approach and planting entire nurseries from seed, yielding a wide array of new apple varieties. Many were sour, bitter, or high in tannin, which were perfect for cider and brandy production. Chapman planted west of the colonies and helped increase property values (tracts with orchards were more valuable).
In Botany of Desire (the book and the film) the apple tree is explored as a plant that has a unique symbiotic relationship with humans.
This is a blend of three heirloom varieties: Graniwinkle, Harrison, & Virginia Hewe's Crab
It smells like crisp, fresh apples, tastes delicious, and at 7.8% you can have a few glasses and still keep your senses about you.