The French Broad Vignerons have announced the award-winning hard ciders for this year’s CiderFest NC competition. Naked Apple Hard Cider of Flat Rock; Bold Rock Hard Cider of Nellysford, Va., and Windy Hill Cidery of York, S.C., all had entries that received the top award of the double-blue ribbon.
Entries from Western North Carolina and as far away as California were evaluated in a blind tasting format by two panels of judges based on appearance, bouquet/aroma, flavor and overall impression. Results were put into a locally developed matrix to decide the winners. Blue, red and white ribbons were awarded, with blue being the top prize, red second and white third.
Awards were determined based on achievement of a standard, so the ciders were not competing directly against each other. Ciders that earned a double-blue award were judged by both panels to be of blue-ribbon quality.
This was the second year for local wine and cider-maker support organization the French Broad Vignerons to present the cider competition in conjunction with CiderFest NC. “This is one of the most outstanding cider festivals in the country,” says a press release from the French Broad Vignerons. “The rapid expansion of CiderFest NC speaks to the regional interest in ciders and its many forms.”
CiderFest NC happens 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at the WNC Farmers Market, 570 Brevard Road. The event will feature 15 cider makers pouring samples, workshops, live music, artisan food, crafts and children’s activities.
The award-winning ciders will be available for tasting at the festival. Tickets are $30 each, $15 for children and designated drivers. Click here for details and to buy tickets.
The full results for CiderFestNC 2015 are as follows:
Bold Rock Cider (Nellysford, Va.)
Carolina Draft – double blue
Carolina Apple – blue
Vat No. 1 – blue
Vintage Dry – red
Bull City Ciderworks (Durham, N.C.)
Pommiscuous — red
Pomme Solo Ginger Gold — red
Naked Apple Hard Cider (Flat Rock, N.C.)
Blackberry Gold — double blue
Wicked Peel — double blue
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyard (Hendersonville, N.C.)
Wallace No. 2 — red
Wallace No. 3 — red
Wallace No. 1 — red
Sonoma Cider (Healdsburg, Calif.)
Westcider — blue
Gravenstein — red
Windy Hill Cidery (York, S.C.)
Hoppin Johnny Blackberry — double blue
Hoppin Johnny — double blue
Gala Peach — blue
Rusty Gold — blue
Hoppin Johnny Blueberry — red