Hard cider is having a well-deserved moment. Long gone are the days when the drink could be charitably described as a sugary, syrupy concoction with a passing resemblance to apples. Thanks to craft brewers and delicious New York apples, today’s hard cider is light and crisp with an oh-so fall taste. The rest of the country owes us some thanks for this. New York is home to more than 60 hard cider producers that continue to refine the classic while also creating new brews that showcase a range of flavor profiles. From the Hamptons to the Hudson Valley, vineyards and apple orchards have made hard cider the star of fall. Get an insider look at the hard cider renaissance at one these spots.
Lieb Cellars, Cutchogue
Open every day, 12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
13050 Oregon Rd., Cutchogue
Off one of the North Fork’s most picturesque back roads is a place where time seems to slow. Lieb Cellars Tasting Room sits on the vineyard’s 84 acres of vines with views of farmland from the front deck and a cozy tasting room inside. Select a seat and then try their dry sparkling cider, made from North Fork apples. You’ll find notes of cinnamon, honey, citrus and green apple in each sip of Rumor Mill. It’s basically fall in a glass. Go there.
Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Sagaponack
Sundays-Thursdays 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Fridays & Saturdays: 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
139 Sagg Rd, Sagaponack
Using cider made from apples grown at Bridgehampton’s Halsey’s White Cap Farm, Wölffer Estate Vineyard offers two hard ciders. No. 139 Dry White Cider is more traditional with a crisp and refreshing taste and hints of citrus flavors. But it’s the No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider that will have rosé lovers forgetting they were ever sad to see summer go. It’s slightly sweeter in part because of the addition of red grape skin extract but something both beer and wine lovers will enjoy. Stop by on a Friday for live music. Go there.
Cider Week, New York City
Tasting, dinners, panels, classes, oh my. New York City celebrates all things hard cider during Cider Week October 21-30. The sixth annual event is perfect for those looking to spend a lovely fall day in the city. Throughout the week various restaurants, bars and retail shops will celebrate the resurgence of New York state hard cider by showcasing the range of hard ciders available from regional farm-made craft hard ciders. Go there.
Angry Orchard, Walden
Wednesdays – Sunday: 11: 00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
2241 Albany Post Rd., Walden
Arguably the birthplace of the current hard cider trend-Angry Orchard allows guests a behind the scenes look at the production of one the nation’s most popular hard cider brands. Take a guided tour through the orchards while learning about the history of the farm (it dates back to the mid-1700s) as well as cider production, before heading to the Innovation Cider House where you’ll get to watch as brewers experiment with new recipes and maybe even taste a few new ones before they become widely available across the county. Go there.
Woodside Orchards, Aquebogue
Thursdays-Tuesdays: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
729 Main Rd., Aquebogue
Woodside Orchards takes hard cider to a whole new level. Whether you prefer the traditional, the sweet or the flavored there’s a hard cider for you here. The North Fork orchard, grows, picks and presses all of the apples before allowing them to ferment for four to six weeks, turning them into different types of hard cider. Start with the always on tap traditional and then make your way through sweet, apple raspberry, cinnamon and other flavors. Go there.