By Amy Quan
As fall temperatures begin to dip down, it’s time to think strategically about cider tastings in the Finger Lakes.
While most of our area’s cideries continue to welcome visitors throughout the winter months, a few of our best do push pause on their public tastings. Here are four of my favorite cideries that will be closing up their on-the-farm tastings for winter.
In order of closing dates:
Eve’s Cidery ends their tasting season on Saturday, October 30th.
The first of this quartet to close for the season, at 20 years old, Eve’s is also one of the first cideries to open in the Finger Lakes. Located in Van Etten, on the southern edge of our region, this farm is tucked into the hills of northern Appalachia. It’s a beautiful space, perfect for pairing fall’s vibrancy with Eve’s stunning ciders. Reservations are required for their Saturday tastings.
Grisamore Cider Works will be closing for the season on Sunday, October 31st. Contact them for tastings by appointment after that.
Relatively new to the FLX cider scene, Grisamore Cider Works operates on farmland in Locke that’s been in the same family for nearly 100 years. Their orchards have a long history, but their cidery offerings include innovative cocktails along with their traditional ciders. Spend a fun Saturday or Sunday afternoon with the family—theirs and yours—out on the farm before October ends.
Small Pockets Farm plans to close in November. Stay tuned to their website, though, as they do have plans for a few winter events.
The newest of these four, Small Pockets Farm in Romulus, has pretty much everything you need for a fun-filled fall weekend. I’d go just for the great cider, mead, and beer. But just in case that’s not enough, they’ve upped the ante with old school arcade games, bumper pool, walking trails, outdoor games, picnic tables (and grills), and views of Cayuga Lake. Play, drink, wander. Repeat.
Blackduck Cidery, in Ovid, will close Sunday, December 19th.
Though Blackduck, in Ovid, is staying open later in the season than the rest of this group, don’t delay your visit. Instead, think of their December closing as an opportunity to go more than once. Known primarily for their Perrys and Spanish-style ciders, Blackduck has a range of excellent and unique offerings. As their tasting area—tables both outside and inside the greenhouse— sits on the edge of one of their orchards, you’re brought up close to the fruit that will grow its way into your glass one day.
Like all good upstate New York venues, these cideries can handle our weather. So don’t let rain or snow stop you from visiting. And, if by sad chance you can’t make it out to these folks in person, you can still get your hands on their ciders. See individual websites for where and how to buy.
Amy Quan lives, writes and drinks cider in Covert, NY. When not outside with her husband planting food and trying to restore the old orchard on their farm land, she teaches writing at Ithaca College.