Our story begins in the Yakima Valley with a passion for wine and cider.
The cider and wine presses manufactured by Yakima Press Company are built from a tradition that started in 1975 with the birth of the American Village Institute. Located in the Northeast corner of Washington State, the Institute was formed by a small group of “villagers” who were dedicated to teaching others how to become more self-sufficient, not only as individuals, but also how to create self sufficient communities, or villages. Under this concept the American Village Institute creating a number of hand and foot operated tools, including cider presses, wine presses, corn shellers, root cutters, flour mills, and many other tools. The Institute’s aim was to develop a contemporary version of the tools
needed to become self-sufficient while incorporating modern technology and knowledge. In the1980’s William (Bill) Courtis, a former professor at the American Village Institute, and a partner purchased most of the Institutes assets after the American Village Institute ceased to operate. Bill has spent the last 25 years building cider and wine presses in the same town where it all started. He hand crafts each press from start to finish at his shop, The Phoenix Foundry, which includes a complete foundry, woodworking shop, and machine shop. Thankfully, Bill has passed on his experience, knowledge, and skills to allow the tradition to continue through the Yakima Press Company.
Yakima Press Company
Located in the heart of apple country, Yakima Press Company was formed to carry on traditions that started with the birth of America. Apple cider has a long history, dating back to Roman times, but in Colonial America cider was the most common beverage. As water was unsafe in many areas, cider was drank by everyone, and even used for paying tithes, taxes, and wages. Due to a variety of factors, cider production fell dramatically
around the turn of the 1900’s and dropped even further with prohibition. Recently, we have seen an increased awareness and interest in both sweet and hard cider. Regardless of trends, Yakima Press Company is dedicated to manufacturing the highest quality cider and wine presses in the industry. Each handcrafted cider and/or wine press is proudly made in the USA.