RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that November 14-23 will mark the third annual CiderWeekVA festival continuing the tradition of sharing delicious, locally fermented, artisanal ciders from across the Commonwealth. This annual celebration of craft cider brings together ten Virginia cideries for a bevy of delicious tastings, workshops, and other events sure to engage, entertain, and educate participants about Virginia’s fast-growing cider industry.
“I am pleased to announce the third annual CiderWeekVA in the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Apple production and related value-added processing, such as cider production, have long been key components of Virginia’s diverse agricultural economy, the largest industry in the Commonwealth. Supporting the rapidly expanding cider industry is critical to our work to build a New Virginia Economy and ensure Virginia remains one of the top apple-producing states in the nation.”
Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore will recognize this year’s CiderWeekVA at a tour and media availability this afternoon at Bold Rock Cider’s new state-of-the-art cidery in Nelson County. Creating 32 new jobs for the county in just two years, Bold Rock has quickly become one of the largest craft cideries on the East Coast, producing 250,000 cases a year. The company’s products can be found at more than 800 retail outlets and restaurants between Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
“Cider is one of the fastest growing segments of the nation’s alcohol beverage industry with production rising from 9.4 million gallons in 2011 to approximately 32 million gallons in 2013, an impressive 240 percent increase,” said Secretary Haymore. “Virginia is a recognized leader in the national artisan cider movement with ten cideries now, up from just two in 2009, and that reputation has generated significant interest in our ciders from media, trading partners, and consumers. We are happy to see the continued rise in cider within the Virginia-produced beverage family, which also includes our outstanding wines, craft beers, and distilled spirits.”
In 2012, Virginia became the first state to have an official gubernatorial “Cider Week” proclamation. This year continues the tradition, bringing wider recognition to a historic craft that increasingly fosters economic growth, job creation, and tourism in the state, most significantly in rural areas.
“CiderWeekVA is a great opportunity to showcase this fast-growing industry in our state,” said CiderWeekVA Spokesperson Diane Flynt. “Similar to the wonderful wines of Virginia, fine hard cider is made from well-grown fruit, fermented carefully to create a balanced and flavorful beverage. CiderWeekVA provides many opportunities to sample the best of Virginia’s artisanal cider, carefully crafted from Virginia apples.”
Flynt, who is the owner of Foggy Ridge Cider in Dugspur, Virginia, will be joined by nine other popular Virginia cideries during the week-long event promoting the cider industry. Participating cideries include Albemarle Ciderworks in North Garden, Bold Rock Cider in Nellysford, Castle Hill Cider in Free Union, Blue Bee Cider in Richmond, Potter’s Craft Cider in Free Union, Old Hill Cider in Timberville, Winchester Ciderworks in Winchester, Cobbler Mountain Cellars & Cider in Delaplane and Corcoran Vineyards & Cider in Waterford.
Virginia is currently the sixth-largest apple-producing state by acreage in the country, and cider is a rich part of the state’s heritage. Cider had its first heyday in 18th and 19th century Virginia, when it was enjoyed by some of our most notable residents, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and George Washington. Cider production came to a halt with Prohibition, but today’s Virginia cidermakers are reviving tradition by growing the original cider apple varieties and crafting hard cider with modern fermentation methods.
“Enjoying a wonderful reputation for quality and versatility in pairings, craft cider is once again gaining popularity,” said Tim Edmond, co-owner of Potter’s Craft Cider. “The market is growing by leaps and bounds, here in Virginia and elsewhere, and with this growth comes the diversity of styles and offerings that has made craft beer such a vibrant and constantly renewing industry.”
Craft lovers can enjoy a packed 2014 CiderWeekVA, including popular events such as the “Richmond Cider Celebration” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 15th at the 17th Street Market, as well as the “Hill & Holler Cider Dinner” from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, November 16th at Libby Hill Park. Throughout the week, there will be tastings, workshops, tours and other offerings at restaurants and cideries across Virginia. For the full schedule of events,
tickets and additional information, visitwww.ciderweekva.com.
According to a 2013 economic impact study conducted by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, agriculture and forestry are two of Virginia’s largest industries with a combined economic impact of $70 billion annually. Agriculture generates more than $52 billion per annum, while forestry induces over $17 billion. The industries also provide more than 400,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. More information about the Weldon Cooper Center’s study can be found at http://www.coopercenter.org/node/2/publications/economic-impacts-agriculture-and-forestry-virginia-revised-2012.
About Virginia Cider Week: Thanks to House Joint Resolution No. 105, announced by the Governor’s office in 2012, each week before Thanksgiving will be designated as “Virginia Cider Week.” Creators of Virginia Cider Week, now known as CiderWeekVA, hope to increase awareness of hard cider in the state and provide opportunities for economic development while reviving an important part of Virginia’s heritage. For more information on tickets, event dates and cideries in Virginia, please visit www.ciderweekva.com.