Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Reineta Eating Apples

January is the month when I prune the apple trees in our orchard, so I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the different types of apples we grow.

Colaridina cider apple tree waiting to be pruned.

Nearly all the trees we have in our 7 acre plantation are Asturian cider apples. There are probably over 300 named Asturian cider varieties of which 20 varieties have been selected by the local apple and cider research centre and are now considered the “best” varieties for growing and producing cider. When we planted the apple trees over 10 years ago we planted 7 of these recommended varieties, and the ones we have are: Coloradona, De La Riega, Durona Tresali, Solarina, Xuanina, Ernistina and Limon Montes. We also have a few trees of the traditional Asturian eating apple Reineta, and a few very old trees of “unnamed” Asturian cider apples. If I had to plant the orchard again, I would probably plant a larger range of varieties, because we believe biodiversity is good and some of the “non-selected” varieties are starting to be lost.

The different types of cider apple are classified according to their taste. The major “technical” groups are; acid, sweet, bitter-acid, bitter, bitter sweet, and semi-acid. According to the local apple and cider research centre to make a good cider it is necessary to have the correct proportion of each technical group. What most traditional cider producers believe is that the best ciders come from a good mix of varieties and Antonio who presses our apples for apple juice also likes to have a mix of varieties.

Some different cider apple varities from the farm:

De La Riega; Semi acid, harvest time November.

Solarina; Semi acid, harvest time late October.

Limon Montes; Acid, harvest time November

Ernestina; Sweet, harvest time October

Xuanina; Acid harvest time October

Duroni Tresali; Acid,harvest November.
Enjoy the Apples!

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.