These “heritage” ciders are excellent and worth seeking out. Go to the makers’ websites to order or to inquire about retail and restaurant availability.
Autumn Stoscheck has been at the forefront of orchard-based, natural cidermaking for nearly two decades. Her still, dry Albee Hill bottling, with its deep, dark fruit, minerality and austere tannins is a classic.
The Finger Lakes might be the most exciting cider region in the United States, and Steve Selin may be one of its best producers. His bone-dry and complex Packbasket is made from hand-gathered wild seedling apples. His Pomme Sur Lie is aged nine months on its lees and makes the case for age-worthy cider.
A darling of in-the-know sommeliers, iconoclastic cidermaker Andy Brennan forages for wild apples around his Catskills home to make his exquisite, edgy ciders.
An innovative cidery that straddles heritage and modern approaches. Its Lost & Found is a complex blend of foraged and cultivated apples. Look for Arlo cider in cans, a blend of apples from both Vermont and the Basque region of Spain.
A relative newcomer, this urban cidery has been wildly popular since it opened last summer. Anxo produces a number of “collaboration” ciders with leading heritage producers, such as Eden in Vermont, Farnum Hill in New Hampshire, Snowdrift in Washington state and Blackduck in the Finger Lakes. Look for their Cidre Blanc, available in cans, for a great introduction to heritage cider.
Excellent up-and-coming producer of traditional-method sparkling cider. Geneva Russet, made with Margil, Dabinett and Yarlington Mill varieties, drinks like a blanc de blancs bubbly wine.