17 July 2019
We recorded today’s show in the tasting room at Winchester Ciderworks where we had a conversation with Diane Kearns, a 5th generation orchardist on the property, and Stephen Schuurman, the cidermaker.
Diane gave me some history about the orchard, talked about the generations that came before her and role the property and buildings play in today’s cidermaking business. Fruit Hill Orchard encompasses over 2000 acres and grows over 1,000,000 bushels of apples each year.
We talked about how she & Stephen met and decided to form their business partnership. Stephen gave me a quick history about cider in England before they walked me through the process from tree to bottle. I learned about the effects of fermentation on apples, the aging time it takes for various “flavors” plus, we talked about their cider selection. Stephen told me about a new cider that they’ll be unveiling in the next 6-8 weeks.
The building where the tasting room is located was once a cold storage location for apples from the farm. “The foundation for the Ciderworks’ tasting room was laid in 1900, and the building served for decades as a barn for the orchardists until it was converted to an apple cold storage facility in 1946.” You can see the original details they’ve managed to preserve in the photos. The space is available for weddings, corporate events, parties and more.
Winchester Ciderworks is located at 2504 N. Frederick Pike (Route 522) in Winchester. The tasting room is open on Wednesday and Thursday from 4pm – 9pm; and Friday – Sunday from Noon -9pm. They feature live music every Saturday evening through the fall season.
For more details, visit their website: https://www.winchesterciderworks.com/ follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WinchesterCiderworks/ and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/winchester_ciderworks/
To discover other Valley Today conversations, click here.
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