So we went to Hamilton, NY to visit Colgate college and decided to have lunch and the beautiful old Colgate Inn. It's a beautiful old inn, and the town is picturesque. Very New England-y old college town type place. Colgate was ranked18th by US New and World Report as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country.
While we were there I ordered a Harvest Moon Red Barn Raspberry hard cider. I was thrilled to have something local. It's basically about 20 minutes or so from Hamilton in Cazenovia, NY.
Critz Farms is a family owned business that was established
in 1985. Recognized by the New York State Department of Economic Development as
recipients of the New York State Agritourism Business of the Year. Critz Farms consists of approximately 325 acres of land,
situated just 3 1/2 miles south of scenic Route 20, Cazenovia, New York, in
Madison County. Most of the Critz Farms lands are now permanently protected
through the New York State Farmland Protection Program so as to remain forever
development free and available for agricultural purposes. The Syracuse area is
less than 30 minutes from this beautiful Central New York farm. Owners Matthew
and Juanita Critz live on the farm and their three adult children remain
involved in the business during different times of the year.
A wide variety of crops are grown at Critz Farms. The
primary crops are pumpkins, apples, and conifer trees. Tree varieties include
balsam fir, fraser fir, white pine, white, blue, and Norway spruce; for use as
Christmas trees as well as for landscaping purposes. Other crops include
gourds, decorative corn, blueberries, and flowers. Farm products include farm
fresh sweet apple cider, six different Hard Cider products, New York cheddar cheese,
pure maple syrup and other maple products, as well as balsam fir wreaths.
The Harvest Moon Cidery at Critz Farms is their small farm
winery specializing in making hand crafted hard ciders in small batches. Established in 2011, the Farm Winery is the
culmination of years of planning and experimenting with product
development. Their ciders are all made
from a base of their farm fresh sweet cider, fermented with champagne yeast,
then blended with either maple syrup, honey or fruit juice, to create a variety
of delicious products.
Red Barn Raspberry is of course hard Cider with raspberries. Wild red raspberries, growing plentifully in the fields behind their historic 200-year-old barn, are the inspiration for the Red Barn Raspberry hard cider. Made in small batches from sweet and tart apples, this hand crafted cider is blended with New York raspberry juice and lightly carbonated. Red Barn Raspberry Hard Cider won a Bronze medal in the New York State Fair Commercial Wine Competition in 2012.
I found this cider immensely drinkable. It had a slight flavor of raspberry, and a lovely, tart finish. And the apple still absolutely comes through. It definitely made me want to try more of their products.