Fall is finally here, and that can only mean one thing: Cider Week has finally arrived in the New York Finger Lakes region.
Cider Week is now celebrating its 10th year in the Empire State. The inaugural Cider Week was in 2010, and it began as a conversation, of sorts, between French and American cider producers. New York cider has always been a distinctly agricultural product, and The Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming wanted to recognize the importance of cider in the Hudson Valley and in New York as a whole. Is any fruit more emblematic of New York, after all, than the apple?
Today, Cider Weeks take place in New York City, the Hudson Valley, Western New York, and, the Finger Lakes. Which brings us to this week: the Finger Lakes Cider Week enjoys the peak of fall weather, foliage, and, of course, apple ripeness. Set aside are ten days (the term “week” is a loose one) filled with cider-rich events, from tastings to cider-pressings to historic lessons about what cider means to the region. There are dinners, free events, happy hours, and more, all of which are devoted to the agricultural richness that cider brings to the region. The festivals are the product of the New York Cider Association, and are designed to bring together lovers of cider and newcomers alike; the goal is to help everyone to better appreciate what is right here in New York.
Some of the upcoming evens, in this particular year, will be offered virtually, giving those who are unable to attend in-person an opportunity to taste, learn, and participate from the comfort of their own homes. Registration to attend these events is free, but donations can help to boost the industry, since 20 percent of all proceeds will be donated to the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, which is dedicated to both offering relief to those struggling in the pandemic and to fighting issues of social justice.
Throughout the week, you can treat yourself to panel discussions, pairings, and other media presentations through the New York Cider Association’s television channel, and you can also follow along on Instagram: @newyorkcider.
Of course, if you can make it to the events in person, there is no comparison. Participating cider-makers are taking the necessary precautions for a safe, fun experience so that you can have your socially distanced cider. The trees are turning, the cider is at its peak, and this is the time to enjoy the absolute best of fall. If you can make it, the Finger Lakes are calling. Here’s to another year. Raise a glass, savor an apple, and dig into fall, one cider at a time.