The frost which decimated our 2012 crop was not actually a "late frost," it's suppose to be cold in April. The problem was an early blossom, the result of warmer-then-usual soil temperatures in March. Now it is nearly June and the trees are instead investing in new and regenerative growth. Such is life.
Other things: We have another wave of French and English cider apple varieties planted in the nursery but as I watch them leaf-out, I'm finding my interest in wild and obscure American Heirloom varieties grow. I now think the buzz about Euro cider apples is overrated. I believe the growing conditions are what make supreme and sophisticated ciders. I think the natural approach (call it organic, or whatever) serves my need for new and interesting flavors because the apple, if left to it's own devices, produce self-protective qualities which are adventitious to aging (as in cider): tannin, high sugar (thus high alcohol) and acidity. And those qualities are precisely how cider apples are different then eating apples. Johnny Appleseed was doing it right.