A long weekend down near Charlottesville, VA: Albemarle Ciderworks hosted a cider forum featuring speakers from Foggy Ridge, Farnum Hill as well as their own orchard. Ben Watson tied it all together and Jocelyn Kuzelka went over the science behind cider. Tom Buford was also in attendance.
Although cider can and should be made in home basements, there also needs to be local and national experts like the aforementioned. Too often I hear people say they don't like cider and I know it's because they've never had the real stuff. Unlike crappy cider made by producers and growers looking to unload apple tonnage, true artisanal cider is rare in New York. In fact, only New England has a diversity of true artisanal cider makers. So as our Hudson Valley now seems ready to embrace the drink I am relieved that cider has leadership to push for a new higher standard after a century of degradation.
I look forward to seeing regional differences and artisanal quality differences. I want cider to be marketed more like wine then beer but I would also like to see it emerge as something entirely unique. I'll be trying to do that in my marketing strategy this year.