Leidel’s Cider stems from an extensive family heritage. It started 6 generations ago in 1854 when pioneer, Heinrich “Henry” Leidel, settled in La Crescent, MN after emigrating from Germany. He bought a section of land on North Ridge from the Government Land Agency in La Crosse, WI. Heinrich cut and cleared the land, selling the wood to a local steamboat business and later the railroad. He then started a dairy business which sold over 3,000 pounds of butter a year to the surrounding community.
His son Herman eventually took over the family business as his livelihood and operated it for most of his life. In 1908, Herman split the property, now a total of 120 acres to his two sons, Joseph and Henry. Joseph planted one of the first apple orchards in La Crescent, MN with over 2,000 trees. His brother, Henry, quickly followed suit, planting 1,000 apple trees in 1917. Henry operated his orchard and a berry farm for 24 years, before selling the properties to his son Victor in 1944.
Under Vic’s stewardship, the orchard grew to 140 acres after land previously owned by Herman Leidel was repurchased. Vic also built Leidel’s Apple Stand in La Crescent on the highway running through town. He ran the orchard and stand until his death in 1989.
After Vic’s death, his youngest son, Kevin, assumed ownership of the orchard. Nearly, three decades later, the Leidel’s still own the apple orchard where Kevin’s sons, Erich and Mitch, are crafting premium cider, keeping the family tradition intact.