RICHMOND, Va. (November 5, 2014) – Virginia’s hard apple cider heritage dates back to colonial times, when fermented cider was the drink of choice. In recent years the cider making craft has undergone a renaissance, both in Virginia and nationally. The sales of cider nationwide have grown an average of 73 percent each year over the past five years. Virginia now has 10 craft cideries and is the sixth-largest apple-producing state by acreage in the country.
In 2012, Virginia became the first state to have an official “Cider Week” proclaimed by its governor. This year Virginia Cider Week takes place November 14-24, with special tastings, pairings, dinners, events and workshops such as the selection below. A full list of events and locations, as well as ticket information, is available at ciderweekva.com.
Richmond Cider Celebration (Saturday, November 15, 11am – 4pm) To kick off Virginia Cider Week, Virginia’s cideries will take over Richmond’s 17th Street Market with cider tastings and educational workshops about cider apples and cider making. Sample different varieties of apples, sip apple juice and participate in educational workshops including cider blending, apple juice pressing, apple tasting and others. Each $20 ticket includes 10 cider tastings. Cider will also be available for purchase by the glass or bottle.
Home Cider Making Workshop at Foggy Ridge Cider (Saturday, November 15, 9am – 11am) Learn cider making basics from an experienced cider maker in the tank room at Foggy Ridge Cider in Dugspur.
Cider Under The Stars (November 14-16) Outdoorsy cider lovers will enjoy this 3-day camping event at Cobbler Mountain Cellars in Delaplane, Virginia. Arrive Friday afternoon to explore the property and Tasting Tavern. On Saturday, enjoy breakfast, a Reiki session and a guided hike. Guests will receive a 3-day-tasting-pass of hard ciders and wines. Outdoor games & live music will take place Saturday evening. A complete outdoor kitchen will be set-up with storage coolers, dinner sides, grill and firewood. Camping gear is available: full setup services are $195 or bring personal gear for $135.
Sunday Dinner Series – Cider Dinner (Sunday, November 16, 6pm – 8pm) Join Heartwood Artisan Center in Abingdon for an evening of live local music and a “family style” dinner featuring local farm produce and meats paired with Foggy Ridge Ciders. Special glass and bottle prices are available for the dinner and the event cost is $22.
Cider Salon (Monday, November 17, 4pm – 6:30pm) Join First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and Virginia cider makers at this Cider Salon Trade Tasting at Lemaire Restaurant in Richmond. Join fellow food and beverage professionals to sample cider, snack on Lemaire’s autumnal hors d’oeuvres and talk with the artisans pioneering the craft cider revival. RSVP is required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home Cider Maker’s Workshop (Wednesday, November 19, 6pm-8pm) Join cider makers from Potter’s Craft Cider and Albemarle Ciderworks at Fifth Season Gardening in Charlottesville as they discuss the art and science of cider making. Old Hill Cider Dinner at Skyland Resort (Friday, November 21, 6:00pm) Visit Skyland Resort in Shenandoah National Park for a four-course meal featuring cider Old Hill Cider pairings. A Friday night lodging package starts at $373 and includes accommodations, four-course paired-cider dinner for two people, and breakfast for two. Dinner only is $130 per person. To make a reservation contact Skyland Resort at (540) 999-2212 and use promo code CIDER.
Clash of the Pippins (Saturday, November 22, 5:30pm – 7:30pm) Be the judge at this blind cider tasting at Albemarle Ciderworks in North Garden while comparing Pippin varietal ciders from around the country. $15 ticket price includes cider tastings and cheese.
Home Cider Making Workshop (Saturday, November 22, 9am – 11am) Snag one of 50 spots available for a free cidermaking instruction at Old Hill Cider in Timberville. Opportunities will be available to purchase juice and other equipment for crafting cider.
Build a Barrel-Smoker (Saturday, November 22, 12pm – 4pm) Tour of the Potter’s Craft Cider in Free Union and then learn how to turn once-used Apple brandy barrels into meat smokers. Locally raised pork will be prepared in a barrel-smoker on-site by JM Stock provisions.
Cider Fest 2014 (Sunday, November 23, 10am – 6pm) Join Castle Hill Cider in Keswick for an all-day music and cider festival featuring some of the best ciders of Virginia, artisan food trucks and local vendors, and live music. $25 ticket price includes cider tastings and live music.
2nd Annual Cider Cocktail Competition (all week) Three of Roanoke’s top restaurants will battle to make the best cider cocktail using Foggy Ridge Cider during their second annual cider cocktail competition.
Richmond Cider Crawl (all week) Nine Richmond restaurants will be offering a special #VAcider cocktail all week long to. Snap a #ciderselfie with the cocktail and post on Twitter and Facebook.
Learn more about Virginia Cider at http://www.virginia.org/cider. Bios for Virginia’s cider makers are available at http://ciderweekva.com/media-kit. Join the Virginia Cider conversation on Facebook at Virginia Cider Week and Twitter at @CiderWeekVA using hashtags #CiderWeekVA and #VACider.