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"Huguenot Cider: European Heritage in a Glass," a talk and tasting with Tim Dressel

  • Deyo Hall 6 Broadhead Avenue New Paltz, NY, 12561 United States (map)

When most people think of French agriculture, the obvious association is grapes and wine.  But if you travel to the Normandy region in the north-west part of the country you won't find grapes- you'll find apples.  While French cider doesn't command the pomp and grandeur that French wine enjoys, it's traditions and quality are just as impressive.  Early Americans subsisted greatly on hard cider, and when French settlers found their way to the Hudson Valley, they brought their cider with them.  Huguenot Cider celebrates this heritage using heirloom European apple varieties and French cider-making techniques.  This lecture will present a detailed explanation of both and show how the recent hard cider resurgence is reviving these ancient practices.

Tim Dressel of Dressel Farms founded Kettleborough Cider House in 2011. The Dressel Family has been growing apples in New Paltz for four generations, beginning with Tim's Great-Grandfather Fred Dressel in 1923.  After graduating from Cornell University in 2007, Tim returned to the family business and still works there full-time. Kettleborough Cider House was born out of his love of horticulture, farm business, and oenology (wine-making). 

Huguenot Cider is Kettleborough Cider House's first cider made exclusively from heirloom cider varieties. More than 20 Old World and American Heirloom apple varieties are blended together to create this rustic, farmhouse-style cider. Made in a French style, Huguenot Cider enjoys a long, slow fermentation employing only natural wild yeast. The cider is non-sparkling, unfiltered, hand-bottled, and totally unlike anything else. The tannic old world fruit impart a complex flavor and body that is impossible to accomplish with modern "dessert" apples.