Heirloom apples are celebrating a renaissance. Fill your fall with the South's favorite vintage varieties that are still available today.
Origin: Queens, New York, 1720
This NYC native thrived in the Virginia Piedmont and became a favorite of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Today, its sprightly lemon-and-pineapple flavor provides the pizazz in a new wave of Champagne-like ciders.
Origin: Fayette County, Georgia, 1840s
Little 'Yates' can take heat and humidity, which is why it became a standard on farms throughout the southernmost states. Sweet and tart with a spicy twang, it makes the perfect small snack all winter long.
Origin: Brooks County, West Virginia, 1790
Supersweet with high sugar content and blasts of banana and anise flavors, it became the favorite of moonshiners and children alike. The first 'Golden Delicious' tree sprang from a 'Grimes Golden' seed.
Origin: York, Pennsylvania, 1820
Comically lopsided with a juicy sweetness and a way of melting into fluffy sauce when cooked, it does best in the states near the Mason-Dixon Line. Find it piled high in Maryland and Virginia markets every Thanksgiving.
Origin: Burlington, New Jersey, 1817
This winsome apple was important to Mid-Atlantic and southern Appalachian farmsteaders. Its cheerful pink cheeks made it an easy sell in the market, and its low-juice flesh made it the top choice for dried apples—a 19th-century staple.
Origin: Bentonville, Arkansas, 1870
A stunning 'Winesap' seedling, it was famed for staying power in the root cellar, where its tart and tannic bite mellowed into delightful flavors reminiscent of a glass of iced tea sweetened with orange-blossom honey.
Origin: Clay County, West Virginia, 1890
The second-most-successful apple of all time after 'Red Delicious'. The supermarket version is bland, but the honeyed aromas of a tree-ripened one from a Southern farm capture the very essence of apple.
Origin: Moorestown, New Jersey, Late 1700s
The most important of all Southern apples, it reigned before the advent of controlled atmosphere storage and the rise of 'Red Delicious'. Tart and foxy, it's equally gifted for fresh eating or in pies or cider.
Origin: Berry's Lick, Kentucky, Circa 1800
It grew prolifically and was so hard and dry that it survived months at sea. The "Mortgage Lifter" saved countless antebellum farms, which sent barges down the Mississippi to New Orleans and on to Europe.
Origin: Virginia, Circa 1700
These little pink-and-yellow ornaments are too sour for eating out of hand, but they make the best-tasting hard cider in the country, if not the world. A mainstay at Monticello, 'Hewes Crab' is now being rediscovered around the South.