Temperatures may keep approaching summer-like highs, but fall is undeniably here in the Finger Lakes. Days are getting shorter. Leaves are changing and grape harvest has begun. And, the businesses on Linden Street in downtown Geneva are celebrating their final weekend of closing the street to vehicle traffic with the 3rd Annual Cider Soiree.
Daniel Bissell of Kashong Creek Craft Cider says it’s an opportunity for people to explore the depth and breadth of cider.
“Cider is a class that has so much diversity that people don’t have access to, so being able to pour cider from France, and Germany, and Spain like we do here at Kashong, it really puts the Finger Lakes cider alongside those other styles and gives us an identity as a producing region, but also shows the consumer what cider can be across the board.”
People who make cider often describe its qualities in terms that are used to describe wine. That includes a deep interest in the varieties of apples that are used for cider. Apple varieties that were historically used for cider production gave way in the 20th century to eating apples in New York state. Those can be used to make cider, but to really produce the range of ciders that are possible, the makers need to growers to take a chance on fruit that is primarily destined to become cider. Bissell hopes that over time, the relationship between growers and cider makers will develop in much the same way that has made Finger Lakes wine so successful.
“A lot of the growers are skeptical at first because they are waiting for that trend to either go away too quickly or significantly diminish by the time that the trees that they’re putting in now will even be fruiting so very much like the vineyard and winemaker relationship are nowadays where we are able to have contracts that guarantee certain accommodations to those kinds of things happening we’re starting to see more of those with apples which is really encouraging. It’s really going to allow the varieties that are available to influence the production of the cider as well.”
All of that is in the future. For now, the 3rd Annual Cider Soiree comes to Linden Street on Saturday starting at 5:00 p.m. The family-friendly event open to the public and hosted by Kashong Creek Craft Cider, Lake Drum Brewing, and Star Cider. It will feature live music including Whorlwood and Multibird, which will be underway by 6:30 p.m.