2017 Seminars

Learn more about cider by attending a FREE festival seminar.
Tastings limited to those seated. Subject to change.


1:30pm - Apples In Your Cider
Presented by: Ben Wenk, Grower at Three Springs Fruit Farm and Founder of Ploughman Farm Cider

While a handful of apples make up a majority of supermarket sales in the United States, there are over 5,000 named varieties of apples. In this seminar, learn about some of the apples that are specifically used for cider making and their special characteristics like sweetness, tartness, and tannins. The cider apples that will be discussed are not the dessert apples you’ll find in the grocery store!

About Ben Wenk:
Ben is a seventh generation grower at the Three Springs Fruit Farm located in Adams County, Pennsylvania. He's a 2006 graduate of Penn State's Agroecology program, minoring in Horticulture. Upon graduation, Ben returned to the family farm, responding to an email seeking out vendors for Philadelphia's new Headhouse Farmers Market. Since February of 2007, Ben has managed the farm's weekly trips to farmers markets in Philadelphia and the Baltimore and Washington DC areas, and has grown the small fruit and vegetables to supply these markets. Much in part to his experience working in the Entomology Department at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center, Ben has also been in charge of insect scouting and monitoring on all of the farm's fruit acres as well. In 2016, Ben started Ploughman Farm Ciders using estate grown fruit. The cidery has seven offerings made with a variety of apples, fruits, spices, hops and one that is even wild fermented.

2:30pm - Pennsylvania's Once (and Future?) Favorite
Presented by: Mark Turdo, Museum Curator

The history of cider in the United States is very closed tied to the history of apple growing in the country and, specifically, Pennsylvania. As you listen to this seminar, you will learn about the history of cider in Pennsylvania from the 17th century to today - fun facts and interesting information to keep every cider enthusiast in the know.

About Mark Turdo:
By day, Mark is a museum curator at the newly-opened Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, but at night (and on the weekends) he researches and writes about cider history and recreates historic ciders.

In 2014, Mark's interest in historic ciders got the attention of the newly-established Blackledge Winery, a research winery whose focus is researching and producing historical and historically-inspired wines, meads, and ciders. Mark was invited to be a guest cidermaker and has had several historic ciders made available at Blackledge.

Mark also manages a blog which documents his side-work on cider called Pommel Cyder.


Click here for a list of 2016 seminars