When Cheryl and Bill Barton began Bellwether Hard Cider in 1999, they had no idea they were on the cusp of a booming industry. Today hard cider is hot, and Bellwether is flourishing with about 10 cider varieties, ranging from very dry to semi-sweet.
Hard cider, which is fermented apple juice, was all the rage back in the early days of the Republic−John Adams is said to have downed a tankard daily with his breakfast! Now thanks to companies like Bellwether, it’s back in popularity.
A visit to Bellwether Hard Cider and Wine Cellars (the name changed when they started making wines in 2013) is an ideal outing on an autumn day in the Finger Lakes. Settle in on their patio for a picnic or sample ciders in the company’s tasting room. Selections to try include traditional still ciders such as Liberty Spy, a nice balance of semi sweet and semi dry as well as sparkling ciders such as the Lord Scudmore, a brut champagne-style drink. Bellwether also offers sparklers blended with cherries and black currants too. Delicious!
Bellwether wines are a relatively new addition to the lineup. Tastings of these wines made from grapes known to thrive on the glacial slopes of the Finger Lakes, three Rieslings and a Pinot Noir, are also available.
Be sure to check out the label, sporting a cute sheep, a tribute to the company name. In the sheep world, Bellwether is what the leader of the flock is called. Seems a perfect name for a leader of the New York cider world!
Bellwether Hard Cider and Wine Cellars is located just north of Trumansburg on the west side of Cayuga Lake, two miles from the Inn at Gothic Eves. Tours, tasting room and gift shop are open year-round.
November –March: Monday-Saturday 10:30am-6:00pm; Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm
April – October: Monday-Saturday 10:30am-5:00pm Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm
July and August: open till 7:00 p.m.
Visit Bellwether Hard Cider and Wine Cellars website or call 607-387-9464 or 888-862-4337 for more information.