Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ciderdays in Western Massachusetts

I just got back from another great day at Ciderdays, the western Massachusetts celebration of all things Malus Domesticus, especially hard cider.  Ciderdays are the first weekend of November each year, and I have only missed one year in the past decade or so.  From the website:
“CiderDays is a community event celebrating all things apples in Franklin County, Massachusetts. 2012 marks the 18th year of this event and there will be two days (November 3rd and 4th) of orchard tours, cidermaking and tastings, workshops and much more. This is for all who love apples, fresh or hard cider, apple cuisine, apple orchards or just being in New England in the fall.”
My regular routine is checking in and stocking up; first with the great folks at West County Cider, then up the hill to Apex Orchards to load the car with apples.
There are a variety of events, from tastings and tours, to classes and a marketplace.  This is in the rolling hills of northwestern Massachusetts, beautiful and bucolic, with several events happening in Shelburne Falls, a quaint and artsy town on the Deerfield River, which is spanned by the charming (really, it is) Bridge of Flowers (sadly not very impressive in November during Ciderdays).  Most of the activity happens on Saturday, but more and more happens on Sunday each year.  I never miss the cider tastings and discussions with leading cidermakers.  If you are interested in making your own cider, this is the place to be, unpasteurized sweet cider is available at Pine Hill orchards (and occasionally elsewhere), and there are plenty of talks and classes to get you started, or help you improve your cider.

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