Redbyrd Orchard Cider
From Vineyards to Orchards
Redbyrd Orchard Cider is a small family-run cidery with biodynamically managed orchards nestled in the rolling hills of the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. We grow heirloom, wild seedling, and European cider apples to produce distinct hand-crafted orchard based heritage ciders. We started our journey into fermented beverages working in the vineyards and wineries in the Finger Lakes region in central New York. Inspired by the wild trees and abandoned orchards in the countryside around our farm, we harvested those, and started our own cider orchards in Trumansburg and Burdett, NY in 2003. We have been making cider for public since 2010.
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A Winemaker's Approach to Cider
Redbyrd Orchard Cider approaches cider making with a winemaker’s sensibility. As with grapes and wine, to make truly great cider, you must start with truly great apples. We produce cider with depth, complexity and balance. A fine cider is made in the orchard and expresses its terroir. The specific apple varietals, where and how they are grown, are the ultimate influence on how a cider tastes. Our farming practices encourage biodiversity and a healthy agro-ecosystem, which in turn results in the flavor and complexity we seek. We strive to highlight the possibilities of the fruit and to showcase lofty aromas, bright acid, complex tannin, and mouth watering density.
There is art in cider making! The endless decisions made along the way craft the outcome. The blend of apples planted, where they are planted, when to pick them, which ones to press together, how to ferment the cider, blending, select the vessels for fermentation.... the list goes on. Intertwined in all this is the excitement and promise of discovery. Newly planted varieties that will bear their first fruits -- a new orchard site that will mirror or show differences in terroir -- finding yet another hidden gem dangling along a hedgerow. Following a lead and walking through a pasture to a hidden long lost orchard. It’s the art, process, and discovery that moves us in this whirlwind of cider making.
About the Orchard
We farm 14 acres (5 of which are planted in cider apples) using biodynamic and organic practices and makes all our cider at our facility in Burdett. We are proud to be engaged in every step along the way: planting trees; harvesting apples; pressing, fermenting and bottling our cider before it gets to you. We take apples seriously as a premium fruit that produces a truly expressive beverage.
From the time he was a young fellow, fifteen to be exact, Eric had an insatiable desire to ferment anything he could get his hands on! Eric began as a winemaker and vineyard manager in New York’s Finger Lakes region. After many years, he’s now happily following his passion, making hard cider and tending his own biodynamic orchard. Along the way, he’s become a father, sheepherder, partner extraordinaire, and excellent euchre player. Eric is happy knowing he’s getting to raise his three boys running wild through the trees, eating the apples they’ve helped to grow. In his spare time Eric is Cornell University’s Orchard and Research Farms Manager.
When Deva isn’t working in the orchard or tasting cider, she’s raising sheep, raising boys, and teaching at the local nursery school. She’s been a clam digger, fish monger, cheese turner, oyster beach manager, vineyard worker, massage therapist, bakery owner, and just about anything else you may have never imagined. So far, this apple gig is the best thing yet.
"There is art in cider making!"