What’s Missing from the Wine Bloggers’ Conference and Lives
The reason the Wine Bloggers Conference is heading to New York’s Finger Lakes District is because the wines are so damn good and it’s a region that is impressing more and more wine drinkers across the country every year. I’ve had the chance to taste a number of really great wines from the area at wine competitions, both those made with hybrids and vinifera.
However, one thing the Conference attendees won’t be tasting when in New York, but that they absolutely should, is the state’s hard cider. New York’s best cidery’s are producing mind-boggling good bottlings; world-class cider to match the best produced anywhere in the U.S., England, France and Spain.
While you wouldn’t know it if you’ve sampled the Angry Orchards, Woodchucks, Stella Cidres, Johnny Appleseeds and other sweet, concentrate-driven concoctions sold in the grocery stores, is that great cider is very much like wine.
Makers of fine cider work with one crop per year, like wineries. Great ciders are fermented (not brewed), like wine. Terroir is critical to the character of the apples that come out of the orchards fine cidermakers are sourcing from, like wine. Cidermakers pay extremely close attention to the varieties of apples they use and blend, like wineries. And, cidermakers produce both single varietal and blended ciders, like wineries.
New York is home to Aaron Burr Cider, South Hill Cider Company, Original Sin Cider, Bellwether Hard Cider and Naked Flock Cidery, just to name a few of the outstanding producers in the state.
It is also the home to what may be America’s greatest cider producer: Eve’s Cidery. To quote from my own Cider Journal:
“These ciders represent among the very best being made in the United States and are perhaps the best collection of ciders from any one producer. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for cider enthusiasts to try these craft ciders. They display a deft hand in the cidery and an intense focus on quality fruit that is the hallmark of any serious craft cider producers. These particular ciders, most impressively, display a purity of fruit and complexity of components.”
I’ll be visiting Eve’s Cidery for the first time when I head to New York for the Wine Bloggers Conference. I can’t help but think that a great opportunity is being missed by not incorporating a New York cider component into the Conference. However, for those in attendance, it’s quite likely that I’ll have a number of bottles of Eve’s various bottlings (including their remarkable 2013 and 2014 Albee Hill Dry and Still bottling) in my hotel room. If you track me down at the conference, and ask real nice, maybe…..
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