- Hardy to zone 4
Chisel Jersey is a very old cider variety originating around Martock, central Somerset, England. Chisel Jersey is one of the most famous of the Somerset bittersweets. The fruit is round-conic and red-striped with a brownish-pink blush. The juice is bittersweet and very astringent. It has good sugar content and slow to medium fermentation, with medium acidity, very astringent, harsh and high in tannins. It produces strong, rich, full-bodied, colorful cider. It is best blended with other apples. In old English, “chesil” means “pebble.” Chisel Jersey is small, hard and bitter.
Ripens in late Fall. It is a consistent cropper, closely related to Dabinett, but they should not be relied upon to pollinate one another. It is also a late bloomer. The spreading tree may require encouragement to develop a strong central leader. Chisel Jersey is also one of the most cold-hardy of the English hard cider apple varieties, so a good choice for the northern states where winter temperatures fall much lower than is usual in England.