Why you should be excited

Astillisch is an early-season German apple most notable for ripening in August and its dark red colouring.

The story of Astillisch

Except for a desire to develop better quality early apples, we can think of little reason for apple breeders to use Red Astrachan for breeding.

We're all for experimentation and diversity, but the appeal of yet another August-ripening apple that's soft-fleshed and keeps for about a week - if you're lucky - is pretty limited.

But the folks at the Erwin Bauer Institute in Cologne, Germany decided to give it a try and Astillisch was the notable result.

We know there are people who are super-keen on this variety, as we've heard from folks who have fond memories of Astillisch, which was introduced to the world in the 1960s.

We're looking forward to our first fruit from our young trees so we can learn what makes Astillisch such a favourite for these folks.

Astillisch Facts

Its origins

Bred in Cologne, Germany, around 1929; introduced in 1967.

Flavour, aroma, texture

The juicy, cream-coloured flesh is quite soft, with a tart flavour, balanced by some sweetness.


A large, somewhat flattened apple flushed with dark red, often covered with a dusky bloom.

When they’re available

Early season (usually in late August).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Not particularly known for use in cider, but like many heritage varieties, it can contribute a very nice sugar/acid balance to blends.

Keeping ability

Minimal (no more than 1 or 2 weeks when kept refrigerated).