Cortland apples are a popular home garden variety and are valued by apple enthusiasts for their sweet, subtly tart flavor and white, crisp flesh.
Cortland apples, along with their breeder, the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, was awarded the acclaimed Wilder Medal in 1923. The American Pomological Society annually gives this medal to breeders that have made outstanding contributions to the world of apple cultivation. Cortland apples were developed in 1898 by Professor Spencer Ambrose Beach at Cornell. The variety was created from a selected cross between Ben Davis apples and McIntosh apples and was developed using natural pollination techniques. Breeders trialed and evaluated the variety for several years before releasing it to commercial markets in 1915.
Cortland apples are an heirloom American variety. Today, they are known for their ability to thrive in cold weather and are found in apple-growing regions in the northeastern United States, around the Great Lakes, in Washington State and Oregon, and Quebec and Ontario in Canada. They are also grown in the United Kingdom, France, and Poland.