About Us

Mark Turdo has been drinking and researching (sometimes simultaneously) cider for over twenty years.

Research is hard work.

Research is hard work.

Starting in October 2012 he began making cider at home, first in the bathroom and then in the kitchen. His focus has been on historic ciders, though he’s willing to make anything that tastes good. Since 2013 he’s written the Pommel Cyder blog, where he shares some of his cider-making experiments and cider history research.

His 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. In 2014 Mark was invited to be a guest cidermaker. Currently he has several historical ciders available at Blackledge. You should try them.


You can contact Mark at pommelcyder@gmail.com.

Bottles full of sun

Other Random Bits Disguised As a FAQ

What is a Pommel and why did you choose it?

Pommel means little apple. I thought it was a fitting symbol for a few reasons. First, I figured I was only ever going to make very small batches, or a “little apple” cider. Also, it’s the butt-end of a sword, which reflects my interests in historic swords and modern fencing.

The image on the label and blog header is a decorated sword pommel from an eighteenth-century print.

Why focus on historic ciders?

My day job is history museum curator (check out my other blog). I spend a lot of time researching how things used to be done and more often than not, I want to try to recreate those things. Besides, although lots of folks say they are inspired by cider history, I hadn’t found anyone trying to recreate historical cider. So I thought why not do it myself.

Who is J.?

J. is my wife, who has been very supportive of this endeavor right from the start.

The start, by the way, is when I unexpectedly came home with three gallons of raw juice and said, despite having no experience whatsoever at it, that I was going to make hard cider.

Which cider(s) do you recommend?/Do you review ciders?

I don’t. There are lots of folks out there reviewing cider better than I could. For example check out Along Came a Cider.

More importantly, cider tastes are completely subjective. What I like you may not, and vice versa. That, by the way, is ok.

Do you recommend cider resources?

That I do.

For historical resources, check out our Historical Cidering page.

For modern resources, check out our Modern Cidering page.


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