Peter and Mary Ann
Washington, United States
Our orchard is set against a dramatic backdrop of basalt cliffs in sunny East Wenatchee. We’ve been growing apples here for over 30 years, and recently we’ve added several cider varieties to the mix. Varieties such as Dabinett, Foxwhelp, Golden Russet, Brown’s, Wickson Crab, and others contribute their unique flavors to our ciders.
Our family has grown apples, pears, cherries, and grapes in the Wenatchee Valley since the 1940s. Fredrick Ringsrud rode the freight trains from North Dakota to Cashmere to work in the orchards, eventually bringing his mother out west with him. He met his wife Norma while working in the orchard, and they raised their children on a small plot in Cashmere that is still in our family today. Our present orchard was planted in the late 1960s and Peter and Mary Ann started farming it in 1974. Our earliest memories of making cider are with a 100-year-old hand crank press borrowed from a family friend, and big glass carboys bubbling away slowly through the winter. One of our family’s favorite apples for cider and eating was given by the owner of the old press, and turned out to be an old French variety, Calville Blanc d’Hiver dating to the 16th century and eaten by King Louis XIII. It is regarded as “excellent for cider” and adds crisp bright acid to our Semi-dry cider.