Wild Apples from Virtue Farm

Harvesting the wild apples on the property has been a thing since year one. We have made small batches from these apples every year, usually only 5 gallons or so. But it's a way to stay connected to the idea, to actually take the process from "branch to bottle," by hand, the hard way.

The flavors are all over the map. The pretty striped ones resemble a bitter-sweet. The green/yellow ones are low acid, and almost creamy. The darker red ones are astringent. We have no idea what variety they actually are though.

Yesterday we picked just 3 of 4 bushels — just enough to add to our special firkin of Percheron that we'll tap at Apple Fest. The firkin us about 10 gallons, and will be a blend of Brett barrel cider, some cider that was aged in stainless steel tanks in Cider House 2, and the just-pressed juice from these Virtue Farm apples.

-- David Crawford, cidermaker