Steven van Nocker
The goal of this project is to identify and develop apple cultivars specifically suited for making hard cider in Michigan. Premium hard cider relies on specialty cultivars, which contain very high levels of acids, sugars and/or tannins. Traditional hard cider apple cultivars were mostly developed in Europe, where growing conditions can be very different than those in Michigan. We hope to produce an assortment of cultivars that are reliable producers, easy for growers to manage and that stay free of disease. We’ve found that many or most of the traditional cider cultivars are exactly the opposite! A highlight of the project is the focus on cultivars that produce red juice. The potential for red hard ciders is very high, and we already have developed several excellent cider apples with good fruit size, dark red juice, and high levels of tannins or acids, and some are now being trialed by Michigan growers.
View van Nocker's 2019 research and 2020 research in our database
Michigan State University University - Great Lakes Cider Apple Collection