Monday, December 1, 2014

Sweet Winter Pennock **

These hayseed-handsome apples are medium and large, a little conical and a little blocky and a little ribbed.

The cheerful orange-red blush runs from streaky to saturated but covers most of a subdued yellow-green.

Russet-colored lenticels are prominent in the blush, and there's a copper-and-green russet at the crown and in crackles down the side.

Sweet Winter Pennock's stubby stem is oddly swollen, knotted in the stem well. The calyx is open and the apple is firm and smells of sweet grass and soap.

Inside, the light yellow flesh is yielding but firm and bears delightful balanced sweet flavors, a blend of vanilla, sweet potato, and grain. The flesh is more fine-grained than otherwise.

Sweet Winter's texture, and the way the lively flavors have melded, makes me think these might be a little past peak. They are good to eat in any case.

There's precious little online or at the library about this variety, previously unknown to me, but it looks as though it may have originated in Ohio.


  1. "Sweet Winter Pennock" is almost certainly "Pennock" (also known as "Benton Red" and "Big Romanite").

    1. @anon, this seems quite likely to me. Thank you.

      The only thing against it is that my Pennocks had open calyxes, while the one in the photo at your link appears to be closed.

      Curious that an apple with such a stellar reputation in the South should also do well in Maine.

    2. This is indeed the Red Winter Pennock, originating with the Joseph Pennock family in Pennsyvania (Chester County) prior to 1776. The family moved to New York in that year, taking many apple trees with them, but this apple was being sold in Philly prior to that time.

    3. @Anon no. 20, thank you for sharing more of the story of this tantalizing apple. As I said, there is not a lot written about this variety that I have been able to find.

      Would you be willing to share your sources?

  2. Seeking a winter pennock tree - will swap for the (early) pennock....
    Rena Pennock Johnson
    PO Box 814
    Plains MT 59859
    And, yes, the March 21 history is exactly correct.

  3. By the way, the apples of the south book has excellent info and pics of the winter pennock, and the 1905 Apples of New York an excellent pic of the early pennock....

    1. Renna, do you have a family story about the two Pennock apples? I would love to know it if you do.

    2. Rena Pennock JohnsonMarch 20, 2018 at 11:16 PM

      The family moved from Pennsylvania, where they developed several good apples, to New York, carrying a wagon full of young apple trees, ready to plant. That was in 1776, and members of the family fought on both sides of the war. Several members of the family stayed out of the war and worked in the orchards. Seed Savers exchange has the early Pennock, as do I, but I would be happy to buy or swap scions with anyone having the Winter Red Pennock.

    3. Rena, thank you for sharing that part of the story. May I assume this is part of your family history?

      And just how many Pennock apples are there?


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