Particularly known for her skill at tasting and blending, Nicole LeGrand Leibon has been cited as one of the best cider judges because of her generous feedback. As the first cider-specific hire for Farnum Hill Ciders and Poverty Lane Orchards in 2000, she helped create a style that honored the terroir and the fruit, while gaining renown for the best ciders in America. In 2018, while finishing her 19th harvest at Farnum Hill Ciders, Nicole went on to expand her skills to distilling. She became the Assistant Distiller at SILO Distillery in Windsor, VT, as well as Head Cidermaker. In her first year working solely with dessert and heirloom varieties, her cider won acclaim and was a Finalist for the 2020 Good Food Awards.
Deeply experienced in cider, from orchard to package, Nicole has been there for industry growth from its tiny beginnings to the juggernaut it is today. She has traveled extensively to taste and judge cider, and to teach sensory analysis. Previous gigs as brewer and yeast lab tech. Super powers: sense of smell and ability to break glassware. Cider blend consultant LeNose Knows. Board member of Cider Institute of North America (CINA).