60% of the varieties grown in our grandparents day have gone forever. If the supermarkets had their way we would all be eating big shiny, but utterly tasteless apples which will keep for months on their shelves.
Remember, supermarkets are all about profit. So, fight the power and grow your own. In the UK, the home of the National Fruit Collection is Brogdale Farm in Kent. They have about 400 varieties and will create a cutting especially for you so you can grow your own tree. So, get down there in october, taste the apples (and they are amazing), find a flavour you adore and get a cutting grafted onto a rootstock suitable for your garden.
Apple trees that have been trained into cordon or espalier shapes are best pruned in summer. This is different to the standard winter pruning method which is still considered best for ordinary apple trees.