Island Orchard CiderTM began on our farm on Washington Island, just across Death’s Door passage from mainland Door County. Located on a hill overlooking Lake Michigan, the property had a few craggy apple trees remaining in the fields.
During family trips to visit Yannique’s French father in Brittany, we always enjoyed going to Creperie restaurants to eat savory galettes and sweet crepes, accompanied by a bottle of cidre brut. Over time, as Bob became more interested in cider, we started traveling to the Pays D’Auge region of Normandy, where we tasted many varieties of this traditional beverage that is typically served with meals, and is the perfect complement to the wonderful cuisine of the area.
As we experienced the cider culture of northern France, we realized that nothing like these dry, complex ciders existed in the U.S., and we became excited about the prospect of introducing a French-style cider to the American palate. Back at our orchard, we began planting cider cultivars from France, England and America, while testing the types that would work best with the Island’s climate and rocky limestone soil. Our Washington Island orchard has expanded with our passion for cider, and we now produce several varieties of gluten-free cider in our Cider House in the small town of Ellison Bay, WI, located at the tip of the Door Peninsula.
Who we are
We are Bob and Yannique Purman, sole proprietors of Island Orchard Cider. Our love of cider guides us as we handcraft our product in Door County, Wisconsin. We relish the cyclical, seasonal nature of our work, and we take pride in building a sustainable business in a way that preserves the joy of the cider-making process. We look forward to your visit to our Tasting Room + Cider Pub.
History of Cider
Cider’s French home is Normandy, where it has been made since the Middle Ages. French ciders are known for their champagne-like quality: dry, refreshing, and crisp. Less sweet than their British counterparts, French ciders are often served with food, and are an ideal pairing with everything from cheeses to main dishes to dessert. Produced in our Cider House in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin, Island Orchard’s ciders are dry with a subtle fruit flavor, making them a dramatic contrast to the mass-produced American ciders found in bars and grocery stores.
Hard cider was also once the quintessential American beverage. Colonials drank cider made from apple cultivars brought with them from England, and the legendary Johnny Appleseed continued this trend westward as he sowed apple trees suited to cider making. The arrival of beer-making German immigrants shifted emphasis away from cider, but most American farms still made their own hard cider throughout the 19th century. The death knell for American cider was Prohibition: Many farmers burned or destroyed their apple orchards and replanted their land with sweet eating apples or other crops. The recent resurgence of craft-style cider has made hard cider the fastest growing segment of the American adult beverage market. Here at Island Orchard Cider, we are proud to bring French style ciders to the U.S. We invite you to try our ciders and taste for yourself what makes Island Orchard Cider unique.
- United States Association of Cider Makers
- Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association
- Wisconsin Winery Association
- Wisconsin Apple Growers Association
- Door County Visitor Bureau
- Door County North
- Washington Island Chamber of Commerce
- Sister Bay Business Association
- Ellison Bay Arts
Permits / Licenses
- Bonded Federal Winery
- Wisconsin Winery
Available throughout Wisconsin
Visit Our Tasting Room + Cider Pub
Door County Cider House
Ellison Bay, WI 54210
2017 Tasting Room + Cider Pub Hours
November 3 - December 16
Fri, Sat: Noon to 6:00 pm