2017 Harvest Update
Welcome to Harvest. We are right smack in the middle of it!
Most people don’t know, but there is quite an extended season for apple harvest. Different apple cultivars ripen at different times and are harvested from late summer, through the fall, and into early winter.
By the way: ‘cultivar’ = cultivated variety. That’s the technical name for different varieties of apples like Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, or Kingston Black.
The earliest apples in the Pacific Northwest begin to ripen the first week of August. You’ll see apples like Gravenstein, Sunrise, Sansa, Early Transparent, Ginger Gold (one of my favorites), and early bittersweet apples like Bulmer’s Norman.
The bulk of the dessert fruit in the Pacific Northwest is harvest in mid-to-late September, but there are a few crazy late varieties that can hang on the tree until the leaves fall off. These include Cortland, Goldrush, Granny smith, Esopus Spitzenburg, Winesaps and Golden Russet. Many of these apples benefit from the ‘long hang’ and keep developing their aromatics well after the mid-season fruit is picked and pressed.
There are a few other weird things about harvest: Early season apples don’t store well, but late harvest apples tend to store well throughout the winter and into next spring. Pioneers called these varieties ‘keepers’ since they kept so well down in the cellar.
We just pressed a few tons of our early season bittersweets like the Bulmer’s Norman and few bins of Gala we got from our local grower (inCider’s secret: we are doing a taproom only Bulmer’s Norman/Gala/Honeycrisp early spring release in 2018, keep a lookout for it).
We have about 220 tons of Bittersweet and Heirloom Specialty fruit lined up for custom pressing this year that will go into about a dozen different crazy, wild, and specialty release ciders.
As the head cidermaker I can say without a doubt this is going to be 2 Towns’ best year yet.
See you out in the orchard.
2 Towns Ciderhouse