Mark Turdo has been drinking and researching (sometimes simultaneously) cider for over twenty years.
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.
From 2014 through 2017 Mark was the guest ciderist at Blackledge Winery, a historical research winery. In 2018 he stepped away from Blackledge to pursue other cider-focused projects.
Check out his Cider History Roadshows page to learn more about his traveling cider-history shows.
You can contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.