Nothing pairs better with a crisp fall day than a refreshing beverage—and in Vermont, that means a Vermont hard cider featuring its official state fruit, the apple. The U.S. cider industry, which can trace its roots back to the Plymouth Rock settlers who came to North America in the early 17th century, has experienced a resurgence over the past several decades, with cider sales 10 times higher now than they were in 2009.
Above all, there’s no better place to experience the industry’s renaissance than in the Green Mountain State. It’s here small artisan producers and larger operations bottle some of the finest cider in the U.S. On your next trip to Vermont, experience the history and craft behind the state’s cider operations. Enjoy a full-day tour that takes you to four of the best cideries in Vermont.
Your trip will begin with a comfortable and easy private charter to Burlington. Start cider-tasting activities on the flight by opening a can of Woodchuck Hard Cider, which is carried on Tradewind Aviation’s fleet of Pilatus PC-12s through the fall.
Upon arrival, the views of Lake Champlain from your room at Hotel Vermont will welcome you to this winter wonderland. Enjoy dinner on bustling Cherry Street just steps from the hotel at Hen of the Wood, which showcases refined regional cuisine.
Your cidery tour will begin early the next morning, so fuel up with a mushroom tartine or buttermilk pancakes with wild blueberries and Vermont maple syrup at Juniper, the hotel’s restaurant. Hiring a driver from Vermont VIP Services for the day will ensure you have the safest possible experience.
Vermont Cider Co.
From Burlington, the journey to your first stop of the tour, Vermont Cider Co.’s Woodchuck Cider House and Tap Room, will take just under an hour. Produced in Vermont since 1991, Woodchuck is one of the state’s most famous ciders. Enjoy the scenic drive down Route 7, through the small towns of Charlotte and Ferrisburgh. Wind your way to the prestigious college town of Middlebury where Woodchuck’s Cider House and Tap Room is located.
You’ll start the day’s tour with a tasting, which will teach you just how complex and diverse ciders can be. It will also help you determine which characteristics make up the ciders you enjoy most. With 20 ciders on tap, you’re bound to find a pint that’s just right.
After a visit to Woodchuck, you’ll backtrack to Burlington—but should your trip take place in 2022 and beyond, stop along the way in the small town of Vergennes, Vermont to visit Shacksbury Cider (its tasting room is currently closed for renovations).
Back in Burlington, enjoy tasting a few of the beloved ciders on tap at Citizen Cider’s Cider Pub. Its rotating list of ciders on draft includes Unified Press, its flagship semi-dry cider. Also included are ciders co-fermented with strawberries, blueberries, and more. Those who can’t pick just one will enjoy a cider flight of five small pours. And of course, you can’t leave the tasting room without ordering a half-dozen fresh cider donuts from the extensive food menu.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill
The next stop on your tour is Cold Hollow Cider Mill’s tasting room in the town of Waterbury, which is warm and welcoming. Cold Hollow is one of just two cideries in the U.S. that back-sweetens its cider with its own cider syrup. It’s one of the best spots in the state to get an up-close look at the old-fashioned process of cider-pressing. After a self-guided tour, relax in the tasting room with a flight or glass of cider—at this time of year, there’s no better choice than Grateful Sled, which features mulling spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.
Continue your journey up Route 100 just seven miles to the storybook small town of Stowe, home of Stowe Cider. Its taproom menu features some of the most unique offerings of the day, including ciders such as Vermont Grown Blueberry Maple, gummy-bear-and-sour-candy-infused Brainwaves Gummy Bears, or the dangerously spicy Peach Habanero. Those who need a break from imbibing will still get their apple fix with Stowe Cider’s Fresh Press. This delicious concoction combines locally sourced apple juice and sparkling water.
Following your last stop in Stowe, stay awhile and check in to Topnotch Resort or The Lodge at Spruce Peak should you wish to end your trip with some of the finest skiing in the Northeast. A Tradewind private charter right from the Morrisville-Stowe airportwill make returning home after your whirlwind Vermont adventure a breeze.
To learn more about Tradewind’s private charter flights to Vermont and booking your vacation, please visit our website. To receive a private charter quote, please complete our charter request form or contact our specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-376-7922. For the latest travel updates, please visit our Travel Advisory page.