by Eden Specialty Ciders, Vermont

ORLEANS APERITIFS are produced from scratch using locally sourced heirloom variety apples, natural cold weather, and organic herbs and roots

A HAPPY VERMONT COLLABORATION: Deirdre and Eleanor share a passion for the fruits and flora of their beloved Vermont landscape, and for turning them into expressive wines and ciders that reflect the unique character of the place in which they grew.  In 2010, they began collaborating on a line of aperitif ciders infused with botanicals under the Orleans label.  In the past few years they have release Orleans Herbal and Orleans Bitter, and in 2017 they are launching the latest in their series Orleans Wood.


Deirdre Heekin is a winegrower, farmer, writer, photographer, restaurateur and sommelier.  She was co-proprietor along with her chef husband Caleb Barber of osteria pane e salute for the twenty years it ran in Woodstock, Vermont.  There she curated the wine program which focused on small producers making organic, biodynamic and living wines.  She and Caleb own  la garagista farm + winery, their small hillside farm and vineyards in Vermont where they farm with organic and biodynamic practices, making wines and ciders that have been featured in such publications as Eric Asimov’s The Pour in The New York Times, The Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine and Spirits, Boston Magazine, The Boston Globe, Forbes, Esquire, and Punch.  In 2014, her book An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir was hailed as one of the top five wine books of that year in The New York Times.  In 2015, one of their wines was included in the” Top Ten Wines of the Year” also in The New York Times.

In 2016, Deirdre was cited as one of the top five rule-breakers in wine to watch by Food and Wine, and the soft cover edition of An Unlikely Vineyard was chosen by Forbes Magazine as one of the top eight cocktail, wine and food books of the year to consider.   Deirdre and Caleb’s small production wines can be found in wine shops and on restaurant wine lists in places like New York, Boston, Rhode Island, Vermont, California, Montreal, Maine, London, and Barcelona that prize wines naturally made and that speak of the landscape.     

Deirdre has long been a student of wine and liquers and their production in Italy, France, Austria, and California.  She studied at the L’Ecole du Vin et des Terroir, a program specializing in biodymic winegrowing, in Burgundy.  She is the author of a collection of personal essays about wine and spirits and how they led her to start la garagista: Libation: A Bitter Alchemy, and together with Caleb,  a collection of essays and recipes In Late Winter We Ate Pears: A Year of Hunger and Love


Eleanor and Albert Leger started Eden Specialty Cider company in 2007 in Vermont's remote Northeast Kingdom region.  They planted 1,000 trees over the next 3 years in a holistic orchard system.  The 42 varieties include many old New England heirloom varieties, as well as French and English bittersweet cider varieties.  They have also developed sourcing relationships with the very few other orchards in the region that grow heirloom and cider varieties, and their cider making reflects their passion for expressing the unique flavors of these fruits.

Eden's ciders have won "best in class" at the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition in each of the past 5 years, and have been featured in Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine, The Art of Eating, Serious Drinks, Punch, Lucky Peach, and Eater.  The cidery was awarded the "Snail of Approval" from Slow Food Vermont for being good, clean and fair. Eleanor is also a Board Member and Treasurer of the United States Association of Cider Makers.

Orleans Aperitifs are produced from scratch in Eden's cider facility in Newport, Vermont using locally sourced heirloom variety apples, natural cold weather, and organic herbs and roots, many of which are grown in their holistic cider orchard in West Charleston Vermont.