Hard Cider, Fall Festivals and So Much More! -- September 2015

Finger Lakes Cideries on the Rise

All farm based beverages are booming in the Finger Lakes but fall is the perfect time to try a Finger Lakes Hard Cider! Home to top quality farm based beverages, Finger Lakes hard cider is an up and coming commodity in the region.

Cider Week Finger Lakes is a week-long celebration of the ciders produced in the region. Lasting from October 2 – October 11, Cider Week Finger Lakes featuring the best of what the region has to offer as far as cider in the Finger Lakes. Special events will be held throughout the week at various locations throughout the Finger Lakes; public events every day and are held at the over 50 cider festival locations throughout the Finger Lakes region.

Featuring four varieties of premium small batch, Founder's Reserve hard cider and three flavors that come in a six pack, 1911 of Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards produces great hard cider for any occasion. Located in Lafayette, 1911 uses quality apples from their own apple orchard, Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards, located on the same land as their distillery. Established in 1911, Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards have been owned and operated by the same family for five generations. Taking control of the entire production process, from tree to bottle, 1911 and Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards work hand in hand to create some of the best cider in the Finger Lakes region and beyond.

Some wineries are starting to produce their own line of apple ciders as well. Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards and Three Brothers Winery are just two of the well-known wineries to dive into the cider business.

Three Brothers Winery is already three wineries and a brewery in one; they also produce hard cider with the Red Apple Bombshell Hard Cider. Red Apple bombshell Hard Cider comes in 16 ounce cans in an original cider or a raspberry cider flavor. You can find Red Apple Bombshell hard Cider at either of their locations, in Geneva and in Eastview Mall in Victor.

In 2014, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards released their own hard cider as well, Hazlitt's Cider Tree. Hazlitt's Cider Tree is a semi-dry sparkling hard cider sold in 750 ml glass bottles and is produced using apples grown in Geneva. Hazlitt's Cider Tree is available at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, at Red Cat Wine and online.

Finger Lakes cider is great any time of year but fall is the perfect time to cozy up to a quality cider from this scenic region of New York. If you're in the region for Cider Week Finger Lakes, be sure to stop by one of the special events dedicated to the craft beverage. Otherwise, visit a tasting room and try the cider for yourself. You will certainly not be disappointed!

Congratulation to this year's Winemaker for a Week, Mike Guarino!

Mike and his wife will get hands-on experience with some of the fantastic wineries on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. His one week experiential vacation will have him doing everything from crushing grapes, working in the vineyard, working the tasting room and everything in-between.

Mike will spend time with a different winery on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail each day, learning from and working alongside the staff of each winery to learn about the different aspects of the vineyard and wine business.

The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is home to 16 wineries, one cidery, one meadery and four distilleries. The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is located primarily on the west side of Cayuga Lake with some locations on the east side of Cayuga Lake. The trail features breathtaking views and numerous award winning wines throughout the trail.

Each night after his time with the day's winery, Mike will stay at Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland. Greek Peak Mountain Resort is home to a number of adventurous activities including a downhill mountain bike course, an indoor water park, an outdoor adventure center and skiing.

Mike won this experiential vacation by entering his name and email address at winemakerforaweek.com. After entrance to the competition closed in early August, five semi-finalists including Mike submitted essays telling why they deserved to be this year's Winemaker for a Week. Mike's essay was chosen by the Winemaker for a Week Committee.

The Winemaker for a Week give-away is closed for this year but keep an eye out for the 2016 contest!

Finger Lakes Fun in the Fall

There is something to do in the Finger Lakes year round and the fall is no exception! Apple orchards are beginning to harvest, fall festivals are in full swing and Halloween fun is just around the corner.

A three day celebration of food, fun and apples in downtown Ithaca, the Apple Harvest Festival (October 2 – October 4) features apples, fun and so much more. Games, rides, prizes live performances as well as over 100 vendors will be in the heart of Ithaca, centered in the recently completed Ithaca Commons. Local farmers will be on site selling their finest produce.

The Finger Lakes Farm to Table event is this weekend, September 27 – 29. The three night excursion in Hammondsport celebrates the wine, water and agriculture of the Finger Lakes region. During the three night stay in Hammondsport, you will get an up close look on the people and places that create the quality food and beverages available in the region. Stay at one of the five participating Bed & Breakfasts and participate in the weekend long celebration!

Red Jacket Orchards produces some of the best cold-pressed juices in the Finger Lakes from their 600 acre family orchard, growing a number of fruits including apples, berries, currants, cherries, peaches and more. Visit their farm store to find fresh fruit, top quality pantry items including jams, fruit butters, sauces and of course their cold pressed juices.

Halloween is just around the corner, if you're looking to find one of the best haunted houses in the region, look no further than Tagsylvania at Tag's in Big Flats. Atsingnetsing was a quiet town with 147 residents until October 31, 1704 when a thick fog covered the town and all but one of the town's residents were possessed by blood craving beings. The town was then renamed Tagsylvania by neighboring towns. Every fall, a thick fog rises on Tagsylvania and possesses all in its path. Travel through the forsaken town of Tagsylvania Fridays and Saturdays from September 26 through October 31, if you dare.

From Halloween fun to special harvest events, the fall is a special and unique time of year in the Finger Lakes. Visit the Things to Do page to fine even more great activities for you, friends, a special someone or the whole family to enjoy!

Keep an Eye Out for Special Holiday Deals on FingerLakes.org!

The holiday season is just around the corner and it is never too early to find a great deal for your special someone this holiday season! The packages page on FingerLakes.org has dozens of great deals no matter the occasion.

The packages page features all sorts of deals for your next special occasion in the Finger Lakes region. From romantic getaways, spa packages, family friendly adventures and so much more, you can find a deal with the packages page on FingerLakes.org.

As the holiday season gets close, look out for special holiday deals in the Finger Lakes on FingerLakes.org!

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