For the benefit of visitors to California Rare Fruit Growers northern circuit of Scion Exchanges, below is a complete tabluation of taster rankings from our October 2019 apple tasting in Santa Cruz, California, an event held now for over 30 years annually. Many (but not all) of the apples below will be available as scionwood at our local Monterey Bay scion exchange, and distributed to others run by northern California chapters of CRFG. These include heirloom, modern, and novel locally-discoved and bred apples.
Beginning with photos of a selection of the top 20 performing apples of this year’s 77 variety apple tasting, follow along below for a complete list of varieties, along with vote tallies and brix measurements. These are all Santa Cruz County grown fruit, as harvested in Oct 2019. Rankings are compiled from nearly 500 tasters (non-blind, apple names are provided), each allowed three favorite apple selections to post to our tally board. Thanks to Freddy Menge for tablulating data, to Freddy, Jim Rider, Zea Sonnebend et al. for growing fruit, to Jim, Sharon Zo, and Marc Mosko for brix measurements, with photos by Andy Moskowitz, and special thanks to all of our wonderful apple tasting volunteers. Compare also our rankings and extensive writeup on our 2018 tasting, and stay tuned for more thoughts on tasting apples.
Brushy Mountain Limbertwig
|3||Karmijn de Sonnaville||35||20.1|
|11||Hudson’s Golden Gem||21||17.1|
|T-20||Tydemann’s Late Orange||15||18.6|
|T-20||Red on Red||15||16.2|
|26||Belle de Boskoop||13||16.1|
|T-27||White Winter Pearmain||12||14.5|
|T-36||Cox’s Orange Pippin||10||14.1|
|T-73||Reinette Rouge Etoilee||1||15.1|
Andy Moskowitz does ecological garden design and fine horticulture in Santa Cruz, California, is director of the Santa Cruz Community Orchard, and has served as Chairman (2019, 2020) and other roles for MBCRFG.
4 Replies to “Santa Cruz Apple Tasting 2019 Rankings (77 Varieties)”
Do you know where I might find a c-43-10 apple tree, for our farm in Carmel Valley (Bad Dog Farms)?
Those numbered apples are trial varieties from Jim Rider’s local breeding project, and I’m sorry to say that I don’t think he’s released anything yet!
I noticed that the bottom 15 or so varieties included many easy to find commercial varieties. Do you know if any apples were purchased or were they all from Freddy’s (or someone else’s) home orchard?
I am not a fan of red delicious but my ex-wife insisted on one when I planted the orchard on our ranch in Mendocino Co. While it didn’t color up like in Washington state, it was crisp, sweet and had good flavor and acid balance. I’ve tried lots of varieties in apple pies but this is still one of my favorites. But I wouldn’t dream of trying it with commercial fruit.
Hi Art (nice to see your name here! We miss you every fall at the apple tasting). In answer to your question, none of the apples were purchased; I believe that they all came from Jim Rider, Freddy Menge, and Zea Sonnabend’s orchards. Some of Jim’s apples had been in storage though, and he tends to be our source of some of the commercial varieties.