Treasury Cider

Sean Adams/WCBS 880

Stories From Main Street: Morgenthau Family Carries On Hard Cider Tradition In Dutchess County

October 14, 2018 - 5:00 pm

EAST FISHKILL, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- A hard cider renaissance is under way in the Hudson Valley.

“Hard cider is at this really, really exciting point, I think – in general in the country, I think, but in New York in particular,” said Josh Morgenthau.

As WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported for this week’s edition of “Stories from Main Street,” Morgenthau, 31, is the third generation to oversee Fishkill Farms in Dutchess County.

Treasury Cider
Sean Adams/WCBS 880

“The name of our hard cider is Treasury Cider, and that’s, of course, an homage to my grandfather and his career,” Morgenthau said.

Henry Morgenthau Jr. was Secretary of the Treasury under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was a farmer first.

“He came from that background and took his experience as a farmer with him to Washington,” Morgenthau said.

Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr. And President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Sean Adams/WCBS 880

Josh’s father, Robert Morgenthau, spent weekends caring for the farm all the years he served as Manhattan District Attorney.

Josh Morgenthau has reverence for history too. Hard cider was a staple on the colonial table.

“There are definitely stories of people drinking hard cider with breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” Morgenthau said.

At the 280-acre farm, Morgenthau cultivates 80 varieties of apples – some quite old.

“The Esopus Spitzenburg is an Ulster County apple, and was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple,” he said.

Fishkill Farms
Sean Adams/WCBS 880

Craft hard cider is booming in New York state. There are now more than 80 producers,  while there were just about 10 a dozen years ago.

They are striving for quality.

“We can’t be making syrupy, sweet ciders. We need to make dry ciders, and like wine, you want a crispness. You want the tart zing of a Sauvignon blanc or an Albariño, and that’s what we’re trying to do with our ciders,” Morgenthau said.

Josh Morgenthau
Sean Adams/WCBS 880

Morgenthau said his dad couldn’t be any more proud.

“He just turned 99, and going strong,” Morgenthau said. “All those apples couldn’t have hurt.”