Jason & Lauren MacArthur
As the cidermakers of Southeastern Vermont, our mission is to showcase the complexity and quality of the rich diversity of heritage and heirloom apples available to us here.
We started Whetstone CiderWorks in 2010, although the dream began long before then. Our business takes its name from the Whetstone Brook, whose headwaters run through our family farm, where four generations of Jason’s family live and work as farmers, scholars, artists, healers, and builders. Whetstone CiderWorks is part of the patchwork of our lives; we are parents of two young children and work as a carpenter and farmer, volunteer firefighter and preschool board member in addition to making cider and the other pursuits that we love.
The apples that we use, many of which are grown specifically for cider-making, yield complex, wine-like ciders, rich in tannins and acidity, with tantalizing tastes of apple, citrus, and flowers that come through. We don’t think these apples need additional flavoring or heavy sweetening to make them the perfect accompaniment to your meals; you can count on our ciders being dry, flavorful, and a show-stopping addition to the dinner table. All of the apples we use are grown locally- this past year, most were from Scott Farm in Dummerston, some from Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon, NH, Ames Hill Orchard in Marlboro, Vermont, Connecticut Valley Orchards in Westminster, VT and some from our own 120-tree orchard and gathered from our neighbors’ trees.
Our cider is a labor of love, and a portrait of this place we call home. After 15+ years of cider-making and 7 years in business, we are committed to remaining small, to producing high-quality, food-friendly ciders, and to celebrating heritage and heirloom apples grown in this idyllic corner of the world.
The juice for our 2017 ciders was pressed last fall (September-November, 2016). The juice ferments for 2 weeks to several months, and then ages in the tanks until we blend and bottle in July. We work with the seasons, not on a manufacturing schedule. We wait to bottle our ciders until they are at their best, which sometimes means giving them over a year to mellow and shift into the fullest expression of the apples that went into them.
All of our ciders pair very well with cheese and a variety of foods. In fact, we make them to go with food! Enjoy!