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Stories From Main Street: Saving The Hudson Valley Apple Orchards With Hard Cider

WARWICK, NY (WCBS 880) - Chances are, when you think of the Hudson Valley, apples come to mind.

WCBS 880's Sean Adams On The Story


"New York is the second largest grower of apples in the nation," said Sara Grady, who is with Glynwood, a non-profit that promotes agriculture.

But farming is an expensive endeavor.

In recent years, she says, "acreage in apples in the Hudson Valley declined by 14 percent and the number of orchards went down by 25 percent."

Stories from Main Street
Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

They've come up with the Apple Project.

On its website, Glynwood says the Apple Project "is stimulating "apple entrepreneurship" in the Hudson Valley by encouraging the diversification of apple varieties, giving growers new resources for knowledge and skill, and supporting a growing market for hard cider and apple spirits."

An apple press at Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery might just save some of the orchards.

In one month you get Doc's Draft Hard Cider.

"Hard cider was the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage in 2010," said Jeremy Kidda, one of the co-owners at Warwick Valley.

He says hard cider is right up there with craft beers.

"People are much more open to experiment and hard cider was the most popular alcoholic beverage before prohibition," he told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams.

Co-owner Jason Grisanti poured Adams a glass.

"Oh, it like explodes in your mouth!" Adams reacted. "What is it about the simplicity of an apple?"

"I think it's that it's not simple. It's got acid. It's got sugar. It's got substance," said Grisanti.

LINK: The Apple Project

Recently, Grisanti and others from the Hudson Valley went to Normandy, home of Calvados, to study the art of French cider and brandy-making.

"Going to France, I learned a tremendous amount, and not just from what you can read in a book, but actually see people doing it," he said.

"It helps to make the Hudson Valley a distinctive place where we have a special and delicious product," said Grady.

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