Cidermaking is undergoing a resurgence in Virginia. So much so that an entire week in November (15-24) is being dedicated to the tasty brew. Many Virginians believe as did that venerable statesman Benjamin Franklin when he said “It is indeed bad to eat apples. It is better to make them all into cider”.
For the first 200 years of America’s history, cider was the drink of choice of the average man. Over time it was replaced with other drinks and by the middle of the 19th century had almost completely disappeared. Along with the disappearance of the drink, many great cider making apples were also lost. Cidermakers are in the process of restoring the drink to its rightful place and introducing a whole new generation to this unique way to enjoy their apple a day.
Cidermaking is a craft. This cider is not the fresh apple juice that is found at local orchards. Real cider is a fermented drink that has alcohol content which is dependent on the variety of apple/apples used.
The Charlottesville area has a number of cideries that will be taking part in this week of events. Among them is the Albemarle Ciderworks which is the site of the yearly Apple Harvest Festival the first weekend in November.
Events are planned all over the state of Virginia and Washington DC in November and include tastings, pairings, dinners and classes. On November 20th from 6-8 p.m. there will be a “Home Cidermaking Workshop” offered free of charge at the 5th Season in Charlottesville. Another workshop will be offered on November 23rd from 9-11 a.m. at Old Hill Cider.
Check out their website for all the things that are being offered and the locations.