We were in Vermont over the weekend and had an opportunity to tour the grounds at Poverty Lane Orchards, the home of Farnum Hill Cider. I had never thought much about true, artisanal, apple cider and had become accustomed to the taste of commercial and widely available brands. My cider horizons began to widen when, as a college student, my daughter became a student of viticulture (grape production) and enology (wine production). Although only related tangentially to the production of cider these subjects remain dear to her and she now spends a great deal of time thinking about apples and about cider. These interests were spawned, in part, by college courses but also by …. Ryan, who currently works at Poverty Lane. Although I am not a student of cider history I am sure that the apple drink has been around for as long as folks have known about the delightful byproduct of anaerobic fermentation. Since the end of prohibition in this country the artisanal cider industry has grown, albeit slowly. Today, folks like Stephen Wood and Louisa Spencer are producing very fine and distinctive ciders from what have been called strange-tasting (disturbingly sweet, sour, bitter, and even astringent) varieties of heirloom apples. I have come to learn that the production of quality ciders is an art form and involves an understanding of apples, the myriad ways in which local environments may influence the taste of apples and, perhaps above all else, the magic which is the blending and production of this most delicious libation. I hope to post more images of both the orchard and the cidery at Poverty Lane. Today, however, I leave you with views of shipping crates and of a number of large storage tanks from deep within the cidery.



16 thoughts on “Cider

    • Yes … this was an HDR (high dynamic range) images … the final is a composite of three (one under exposed, one right on, and one over exposed). The final result does indeed cover a high dynamic range. Some would argue they look unnatural – I like to think they’re dramatic. The orchard was an interesting place and Molly and Ryan seem to be doing well. They have been living in Thetford, in Vermont … and work is just over the line to the east in New Hampshire. I think an apartment is opening up at the orchard which is where (I believe) they will be moving shortly.

      • All this is too technical for me. I am a “point and shoot” kind of gal. You make it sound easy when I know it is very difficult. Sign of someone who has some real skills!

        • You should try and get hold of some Farnum Hill cider … it’s very good. There’s a sparkling one that’s simply called Semi-Dry Cider … we came home with a bottle of it and are enjoying it quite well. I’m working on another Poverty Hill post for later today … stay tuned. D

  1. Beautiful photographs! I’ll never forget when I was living in Caen, France, I went to an orchard where they made Calvados (a cider brandy). There is an expression in French “tomber dans les pommes” (to fall in the apples), which means “to faint” or “to pass out.” I did just that at the farmhouse where they had loads of apples rotting in nets that were hanging all across the ceiling. I passed out from the fumes! 😀

  2. This is great! Wonderful article and the pictures are phenomenal as always. I passed along the link to Steve and encouraged him to read more of the blog. I hope to see more pictures of your visit!

    • ‘Art from ordinary stuff’ – I couldn’t agree more! I also like the contrast between the ‘living wood’ and lots of colors in the first image and the ‘artificial´and ‘technical’ steel in the second.

  3. I completely failed to realize when Molly told me they were in Vermont for a cider job that she was talking about Poverty Lane Orchards … lovely pictures! I especially like the blue door just visible at the end of the room in the first one.

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