We're a craft winery firmly committed to tradition--when we're not busy overturning it.

Meet Chuck and Diane Souther – Owner of Apple Hill Farm

Posted 12/23/23

Hermit Woods began working with Chuck and Diane and Apple Hill Farm in the early days of developing our winery. Chuck and Diane have provided us with a wide variety of apples for many of our most popular wines and ciders. Join us as we sit down with Chuck and Diane and learn more about their adventure as apple farmers in NH.

Chuck and Diane were junior high sweethearts with a lofty goal of becoming farmers. In their High school graduating class of 475, they were the only two who chose this path, which drove their parents and guidance counselors crazy.

Chuck’s family owned a small grocery store in Concord; Diane grew up in a more rural part of Concord, with a pony that bit, a couple of shaggy Highlander cows, and a large garden. Chuck and Diane married on Friday the 13th, 1976, in February so that they could get on a jet the following day for a Colorado ski Trip. They came home, bought their first piece of land, and started on their dream journey, which became Apple Hill Farm.

Apple Hill Farm has evolved over the ensuing 47 years. Initially, they planted apple trees for the then-hot Wholesale apple market. That all changed in 1990 when they quickly realized they had to shift gears a bit. That is when they focused on diversifying their crop selection and marketing. They focused on retail but mixed in selective wholesale, where they had better control over price. It was a ride, for sure.

Part of that diversifying crop base was a partnership with Poverty Lane Orchards / Farnum Hill Ciders to plant specific apple varieties for fermentation and a mix of “uncommon” varieties. Today, they grow tree fruit, small fruit, vegetables, and flowers and market them at their Farm Stand and farmer’s markets. They offer a Pick-Your-Own program and add value to the produce using their commercial kitchen and cider press. The bottom line is that they are just Chuck and Diane, two American kids doing the best that they can.