West Family Lecture: The Science of Hard Cider
Over the past decade, the production of hard cider (fermented apple juice) has increased nine-fold in the United States, with retail sales estimated at $1.3 billion in 2016. Before the recent upsurge in cider production, many of the products available in the US were sweeter and often targeted to those who didnít enjoy beer or wine. Cider producers now make a broad range of styles, from sweet and fizzy to dry and tannic.
In much the same way that wine producers rely heavily on science-based recommendations from viticultural (grapevine and vineyard) research, there is now a great need to develop pomological recommendations for cider apple growers so they can produce fruit that meets cider producersí expectations. Dr. Peck's lab studies how different apple varieties, crop loads, fertilizers, sunlight, and temperature affects cider quality. They are also testing hundreds of apple varieties in the USDAís germplasm collection in a search for apples with desirable cider quality characteristics.
Dr. Peck will give a broad overview of the cider industry and discuss the specific research he conducts on hard cider. Members will also have an opportunity to taste some of the unique apple varieties used to make cider and sample products from a few of NYís 85 cideries.
Dr. Gregory Peck is a pomologist with more than two decades of professional experience working with apple orchards in California, Washington, New York, and Virginia. Following his bachelorís work in Comparative Religion at the University of Vermont in 1994, Dr. Peck earned a certificate in Ecological Horticulture at UC Santa Cruz in 1996, his Masterís degree in Horticulture at Washington State University in 2004, and his Doctoral degree in Horticulture at Cornell University in 2009. From 2011 to 2015, he was an Assistant Professor of Horticulture at Virginia Tech. Dr. Peck is now an Assistant Professor of Horticulture at Cornell with a focus on sustainable fruit production systems and hard cider.
6:00pm reception; 6:30pm tasting, gratis. Members and guests are invited to dine at The Club with Mr. Peck following the lecture. The cost is $40 per person, inclusive of tax, gratuity and one glass of wine with dinner. Dinner reservations are required 48 hours prior to the program. Same-day cancellations and no shows will be charged.