At County Cider, we are known for our wonderful tasting cider that is freshly made right here in Prince Edward County. And with the harvest season quickly approaching, we wanted to share all the different types of apples we grow and how they contribute to all the ciders you know and love.
The majority of our apples are commercial varieties that we have been growing since the 1970’s. Some of these may sound similar such as: Macintosh, Cortland, Empire, Ida Red, Northern Spy and Spartan.
Over the past couple of decades we have expanded our orchards to include varieties that have more acid and tannins to help balance the sugars. This makes our ciders more complex and sessionable; less one- dimensional.
We started with some French and English varieties and later added American varieties. Many of these apples were planted as part of a study done by the Ontario Craft Cider Association in conjunction with Guelph University.
Medaille d’Or - A French variety with full bitter-sweet flavour. This variety is a late bloomer that needs a long growing season. These apples are high in sugar and tannin and are used in Calvados production in France.
Frequin Rouge - From Normandy in France, these apples are bittersweet with good acidity. They have a tendency to be biennial but crops heavily. They are highly oxidative after pressing leading to darkly coloured juice.
Calville Blanc D’hiver - These apples are the perfect choice for tarte aux pommes! It has a spicy aromatic flavour making it one of the world’s top culinary apples.
Kingston Black - Also known as Black Taunton, this UK variety has a dark maroon skin. It is a bitter-sharp apple that produces a high quality, single variety cider.
Crimson Crisp - This variety has a very bright mid range red over yellow skin. It is extremely crisp and has a very good, rich flavour that is sweet, sharp and spicy. It was originally known as ‘Coop 39’.
Bramley’s Seedling - This variety is the definitive English cooking apple. It produces heavy crops of large apples with a sharp acidic flavour which cooks down to a smooth puree.
Porter’s Perfection - This English cider apple has a cream coloured and flushed dark red skin. This bitter-sharp cider blending apple is known best for its often diploid or triploid apples.*
“Most apple varieties are ‘diploid’ and have 2 sets of chromosomes, just like humans. However it has been known for some time that a number of varieties have 3 sets, and are known as ‘triploid’” (Orange Pippin).
Esopus Spitzenburg - Thes are one of the great American apple varieties, thought to be Thomas Jefferson’s favourite. Noted for its spicy flavour, and for its susceptibility to any and every disease afflicting apples. These apples are tart and astringent., affectionately known in the cider industry as ‘spitters’!
Tolman Sweet - This variety is excellent for cider and drying and makes a good dessert and baking apple. The skin is large green or yellow blushed with lines of red. Decidedly sweet with firm dry flesh.
Golden Grimes - This variety has great historical interest as the possible parent of Golden Delicious with a similar sweet flavour and good storage qualities. Widely planted during the 20th century.
Enterprise - This variety is a modern American late season, disease resistant apple with a sharp flavour and good storage qualities.
Sweet Alford - This variety in size is small to medium, with a pale yellow blushed pink-red skin. With a sweet and juicy flavour, this is a high quality cider apple.
We even have one crab apple tree that we planted to help with pollination. The apples grown from that tree are saved for pickling and chutney at the farm house!
Fall Season is Here: Come Visit Us!
Fall is the best season, in our opinion and even though our patio restaurant is now closed, there is still a lot of fun to be had at the farm!
Come visit us and enjoy cider flights by the orchard, strolling the grounds, taking photos with friends, and the beautiful colours of the changing leaves.
A reminder that we are dog friendly, so feel free to bring your pup.