Before there were Cider Weeks in Washington, Virginia, and Oregon, there was New York Cider Week. An off-shoot of The Apple Project by Cold Spring non-profit Glynwood, New York Cider week has expanded right along with the Hudson Valley's cider scene.
Unlike other cider weeks—which focus mainly on in-state ciders—New York Cider Week embraces the city's cosmopolitan culture and welcomes ciders far beyond the state's geographic boundaries. This year's celebration featured cider makers from Virginia, New Hampshire, and Vermont as well as producers from France and Spain.
And while this international showing was impressive, we missed seeing some of our local cider makers at many of the events. The Finger Lakes region was sadly under-represented and hopefully—as these cider makers gain distribution further down state—we'll see a few new faces next year.
A welcome addition to the festival this year was an educational component. Our little island of Manhattan is far removed from the orchards that produce the cider we drink. We reconnect through local farmers' markets, but few of us spend any time out in the actual orchards understanding the fruit. This year's cider week featured an heirloom apple tasting with Original Sin founder Gidon Coll, a cider maker panel discussion led by Glynwood, and a lecture by renowned food writer Rowan Jacobson. Each of these events helped round out cider's place in our landscape as well as at our table.
This year's NY Cider Week confirmed the richness of the Hudson Valley's apple growing soil and the mastery of its cider makers. We traveled the five boroughs (okay, three of them), seeking out the best cider from the East coast and beyond. Head over to the slideshow for more info about the best ciders we tasted »
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