Getting Serious about Cider-making

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Washington has become the nation’s second largest wine producer, and with a recent resurgence in interest in premium cider and perry, cider- making may be the next big thing.

Photo: Denny Fleenor, WSU.
Photo: Denny Fleenor, WSU. Click image for a high resolution version.

Whether you are a beginner or a current cider producer, this summer you will have an opportunity to learn in depth about making quality cider and perry, orchard management, and succeeding in the cider industry from Peter Mitchell, one of the world’s leading experts.

Mitchell will lead an intensive five-day workshop on the “Principles and Practices of Cider Making” sponsored by the Washington State University Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center and the WSU Learning Center – Skagit, Island and San Juan, and cosponsored by the Northwest Cider Society.

The workshop will be held from Tuesday, June 23, through Saturday, June 27 at the WSU NWREC, 16650 State Route 536 in Mount Vernon. The cost for the five-day workshop is $950 per person. For those who register before April 1 the cost will be $895.

The workshop will cover the scientific principles for producing high quality cider and perry, the principles and practices of cider orcharding, and the cider market and cider production as a business opportunity. The class will include a field trip to a cider orchard and plenty of opportunities to taste a variety of premium ciders and perrys.

Peter Mitchell is the founder and principle of Mitchell F & D, a British firm specializing in training, support and consultation internationally for the cider industry. Great Britain is the world’s leading cider producer. With more than 25 years experience, Mitchell is recognized internationally not only as a leading trainer, researcher and consultant but as an award-winning producer in his own right.

According to Mitchell’s Web site, international interest in cider (a fermented beverage made from apples, and perry, an equivalent product produced from pears) has experienced a significant resurgence in the past decade thus presenting significant business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

For more information about the workshop and registration visit There you’ll find links to both more specifics about the workshop and to a list of accommodations in the area.

More information about Peter Mitchell and his firm, Mitchell F & D, can be found at