RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe will join members of the cider industry to celebrate Virginia Cider Week this evening at Blue Bee Cider’s Pop-Up Bluegrass Show beginning at 5:30 p.m. Governor McAuliffe has declared November 10-19, 2017 Virginia Cider Week, commemorating the sixth year of the statewide celebration. During the week, there have been a variety of tastings, workshops, and other events offered for cider lovers to experience this historic craft firsthand, while fostering economic growth and tourism. Virginia was the first state to have an officially proclaimed “Cider Week” beginning in 2012.
“Virginia cider has a long and storied legacy here in the Commonwealth, and is an important part of our growing agritourism economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The Virginia cider industry is not only making its mark on the national stage, but it is also providing jobs, expanding business opportunities for apple growers and farmers, and increasing revenue for our communities. Virginia Cider Week is the perfect time to showcase why Virginia is for Cider Lovers.”
During Virginia Cider Week, restaurants, shops, and cider makers across the state hold dinners, in-store tastings, workshops and classes promoting Virginia cider. Albemarle CiderWorks in North Garden, Virginia, will host the Virginia Cider Smackdown on Saturday, November 18th from 5:30-7:30 p.m., which includes a blind tasting of Virginia and California ciders. The Old Town Alexandria Cider Festival, another Virginia Cider Week signature event, will be hosted in Alexandria on the same day. Guests will sample ciders from more than 12 cideries across Virginia in the setting of the historic Lloyd House’s garden patio. More than 30 additional events are being held across the Commonwealth in recognition of Virginia Cider Week.
“The cider industry is a burgeoning sector of the tourism economy and is one of the fastest growing sectors of the craft beverage industry, as visitors are coming from all over the world to visit our cideries to get a true taste of Virginia flavor,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “Tourism is a $23 billion industry in the Commonwealth, and Virginia cideries play an important role in making Virginia a premier travel destination.”
“Agriculture is the Commonwealth’s largest private industry, with an economic impact of more than $70 billion annually,” said Dr. Basil Gooden, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. “Virginia’s agricultural products, such as Virginia cider, travel from farm to table from more than 46,000 farms across the Commonwealth. The continued growth and support of the Virginia cider industry is critical to the growth of our agritourism and agricultural economies.”
Participating cideries include: Albemarle CiderWorks in Albemarle County, Big Fish Cider Co. in Monterey, Blue Bee Cider in Richmond, Bold Rock Hard Cider in Nellysford, Buskey Cider in Richmond, Castle Hill Cider in Keswick, Courthouse Creek Cider in Maidens, Coyote Hole Ciderworks in Mineral, Foggy Ridge Cider in Dugspur, Old Hill Hard Cider in Timberville, and Potter’s Craft Cider in Free Union.
“Mass market cider dominates the national cider scene and is very different from the small batch ciders produced by Virginia cideries from 100% Virginia fruit,” stated Diane Flynt, Owner of Foggy Ridge Cider in Dugspur, VA, the first farm cidery to focus solely on growing heirloom cider apples and making hard cider. “CiderWeekVA provides many opportunities to sample the wide range of cider styles made in Virginia.”
Virginia is the sixth-largest apple-producing state by acreage in the United States, and cider is a rich part of the Commonwealth’s heritage. Cider styles vary from dry to sweet, still to sparkling, simple to complex. Virginia cider makers craft a range of balanced dry cider that will delight the palate. Enjoy Virginia cider by pairing it with different foods and enjoy the wide range of styles available in the Commonwealth.
For more information on participating cideries the history of cider in Virginia, and Virginia Cider Week events, visit www.ciderweekva.com.