Hendersonville is well known as “Apple Country,” and is growing to fit its title even more as it becomes one of the top places to visit for craft hard cider. The open Hard Cider Tour leads folks to three different cideries in the area, each offering unique flavors and a clear, first-hand perspective on the process that goes into creating a cider. (Although the cideries are open all year long, orchards are more popular when fruit ripens in late summer and fall.) Appalachian Ridge Artisan Cidery (749 Chestnut Gap Road, Hendersonville) is the tour’s newest stop. The cidery opened just two months ago, in a renovated historic two-story barn. Surrounded by 14 varieties of French apple trees, the business focuses on a traditional, Normandy style of cider making. Bold Rock Hard Cider (72 School House Road, Mills River) has become the largest craft cidery in the country; here, folks can try eight different seasonal ciders, take tours of the grounds, and, on weekend nights, enjoy live music. The third stop is Flat Rock Ciderworks (305 North Main St., Hendersonville), the most urban of the tasting rooms. The seven house ciders were crafted on the cidery’s nearby farm.
Call 828-699-7507 for hours and more information.