Redbyrd Orchard Cider is a small family-run holistically managed orchard and cidery nestled in the rolling hills of the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. We grow heirloom, wild seedling, and European cider apples to produce distinct hand-crafted orchard based ciders.
We are proud to be part of a movement of small cidermakers and orchardists committed to bringing cider back to the American table and cider apple orchards back to the American landscape.
Redbyrd Orchard Cider is the work of Eric Shatt and Deva Maas. This dynamic duo have backgrounds steeped in the wine making and grape growing traditions of the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Eric spent many years prior to professional cider making as the head winemaker at Ventosa Winery and nursery and vineyard manager for Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, and is currently the Research Farms and Orchard Manager at Cornell University. Deva is lucky enough to be able to call family one of the earliest wineries in the Finger Lakes and spent multiple seasons in local vineyards before shifting her focus to apples. After many years of hard work, both settled in to their true passion, growing apples and producing ciders they are proud to be able to share with you.
Redbyrd Orchard Cider approaches cidermaking with a winemaker’s sensibility. As with grapes to wine, to make truly great cider, you must start with truly great fruit. (You can make bad cider out of good fruit, but you cannot, no matter how hard you try, make good cider out of bad fruit.) “We are lucky to live in an area ideal for pomme fruit and Our goal is to grow the best fruit around and in turn offer you the best cider possible!”
Eric and Deva began clearing the field behind their farmhouse in 2003 to plant what would become their first cider orchard.
Meet Eric Shatt, From the time he was a young fellow, fifteen to be exact, Eric has had an insatiable desire to ferment anything he could get his hands on! This fermenting frenzy, coupled with his love for the outdoors, naturally culminated into the beautiful path, of growing apple trees and making cider, that he is now on. After completing a degree in Agrobiology from New Mexico State University and working in the vineyards and fields of Pennsylvania, Eric became a winemaker and vineyard manager in New York’s Finger Lakes region. After many years and with that rich and rewarding experience under his belt, he’s now happily following his passion, making hard cider and tending his own biodynamic orchard. Along the way, he became a father, sheepherder, partner extraordinaire, and excellent euchre player. What a lucky guy! Eric is happy knowing he’s getting to raise his three boys running wild through the trees, eating the apples they’ve helped to grow. In his spare time Eric is Cornell University’s Orchard and Research Farms Manager.
Meet Deva Maas, When Deva isn’t working in the orchard or tasting cider, she’s raising sheep, raising boys, and teaching at the local nursery school. She’s been a clam digger, fish monger, cheese turner, oyster beach manager, vineyard worker, massage therapist, bakery owner, and just about anything else you may have never imagined. So far, this apple gig is the best thing yet.