This week October 16 – 23 is Cider Week.  I always thought cider came in a jug.  It wasn’t until people from Ireland moved in across the street from me 14 years ago that I received an education on hard cider. Bulmers and Magners was the cider of choice for Frank and my first introduction to the world of hard cider.  Little did I know – cider was being produced in the Hudson Valley.

New York State is the second largest producer of apples in the nation and the Hudson Valley is the “apple belt”.  The Glynwood Organization which began the Apple Project is organization behind Cider Week.  The Apple project promotes the production of hard cider and apple spirits in hopes to preserve apple orchards in the Hudson Valley. The development of the event Cider Week will cultivate the appreciation for hard cider.  There is even a Hudson Valley Cider Trail that promotes regional cider producers.  For a list of cider producers both regular and hard in the Hudson Valley click here.

The hard cider producers that I am familiar with in the Hudson Valley are Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery and Applewood Winery.  I have had, and enjoyed their cider numerous times.

Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery produce Doc’s Drafts which is a collection of ciders – Apple, Pear and Raspberry.  All their ciders are 100% fruit and gluten free.

Applewood Winery is the maker of Apple Dave’s Stone Fence Cider. Every November, they host the New York Hard Cider Experience.  This year it is November 5 & 6. (Click here for a video of  the first NY Hard Cider Experience)

If you are looking for apple spirits Harvest Spirits in Valatie, NY produces an Cornelius AppleJack which is distilled 3 times and offers a nice smooth taste (I am told)  It is made from 100% Hudson Valley apples grown on their 200 acre fruit farm.  Each bottle is produced from over 60 pounds of fresh grown apples.

Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery also produce a Bourbon Barrel Aged Apple Liqueur.   This liqueur is a slightly fermented sweet Hudson Valley cider blended with their apple brandy and finished and aged in Bourbon barrels.

I am sure there might be a few others out there that I have missed. I will have to spend a day on the Cider Trail and visit them.  Happy Cider Week!