This project brings together a team of researchers, extension personnel, and family orchard operations for the purpose of establishing optimal practices in the production of Rosé cider from sustainable berry crops. The proposed effort is in recognition of the strong growth in the Rosé cider market segment and a desire from our industry partners to meet this demand without adopting intensive fungicide and insecticide programs. Project efforts will be multi-level, involving extension programming, applied research trials, and community networking for local growers.
Extension activities will include the 2021 Ohio Cider Field Day at Ransom Sage Farm, a blending and processing exhibition at The Winery at Spring Hill, and the creation of research-based informational resources. Research trials will have two distinct branches. One focus will be on identifying pest and disease thresholds for berry fruit destined for cider production, as opposed to fresh consumption. The other focus will be to establish optimal processing and blending techniques for Rosé cider. Community outreach, through an expansion of the Ohio Hard Cider Guild, will provide networking opportunities for growers and cider producers seeking to venture into the market for fruit ciders.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Provide best practice guidance to Midwestern fruit growers on berry cultivation for the production of Rosé cider.
- Evaluate and compare red fleshed apples and various berry fruits on the basis of hard cider quality metrics.
- Determine optimal processing and blending techniques for Rosé cider production from various fruit sources
- Expand networking opportunities for cider-focused fruit growers through Field Days, Workshops, and participatory evaluation events.