Why you should be excited

Gravenstein is a legendary multi-purpose apple, perhaps best known for making spectacular pies.

The story of Gravenstein

There’s been much debate about the origins of Gravenstein, which was first recorded in the 17th century. Did it come from Germany, Denmark or even Italy?

The Danes did their best to circumvent the discussion in 2005 by naming this their national apple. Folks in northern California also embrace Gravenstein as the apple that formed the bedrock for the industry back in the day. And there’s good reason for their enthusiasm.

This is one of the best-flavoured of all apples, working well both for fresh eating and especially for baking, despite the fact that it doesn’t keep particularly well, so the Gravenstein season is quite short.

Its lovers tend to be fanatical, so if you haven’t checked them out, you’d be well advised to grab a Gravenstein at the first opportunity to get your hands on it.

Gravenstein Facts

Its origins

First recorded in Denmark, 1669. Its actual origin is uncertain.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Savoury, crisp, yet melting flesh. Juicy, with a distinctive sweet, light taste. Keeps its shape when baked.


It's an uneven shaped, medium to large-sized apple. Yellow-green skinned, with orange-red mottling (except for Red Gravenstein, which has a lot more red).

When they’re available

Early season (usually in early September).

Quality for fresh eating

Very good.

Quality for cooking

Legendarily excellent.

Quality for cider

While not traditionally considered a cider variety, North American cider-makers have embraced Gravenstein's excellent characteristics and you can now find several single-variety Gravenstein ciders being produced in the United States.

Keeping ability

So-so (1 to 2 months when kept refrigerated).