It dates to 1939 and is a cross between a Wisconsin heirloom called Wolf River and a tree from Kyrgyzstan--the most likely ancestor of the domestic apple--called Niedzwetzkyana. Niedzwetzkyana is, like Redfield, red-skinned and red-fleshed, and the trees even have red leaves. Classified as a crab, they are nevertheless described as not overly tart. It's a cold-hardy fruit, which may be one reason it flourishes in Colrain, Massachusetts. Would it still develop that wonderful complexity in the warmth of the West Coast? Either way, it's a great apple, and one I'd like to see more Americans use as a local alternative to English and French bittersharps most Americans have been busily planting.
If you find yourself in New England, try to track down a bottle of West County's Redfield--it's a lovely cider.
|West County Redfield Cider|