Since the Hendersonville area is known nationally as "Apple Country", it's only natural that its becoming one of the top places for craft hard cider. In fact, it's the 7th largest apple-producing county in the country! Visit two cideries that offer very different flavors and "orchard-to-bottle" experiences. Visit the cideries year-round, located a short drive short from Asheville. Find several wineries nearby also.
Appalachian Ridge Artisan Ciders (749 Chestnut Gap Road, Hendersonville) are our top pick for their passion and old-world approach to cider making. Their converted historic two-story barn is surrounded by an orchard with 14 varieties of French apple trees (both photos above). Learn about their Normandy-style cider making. All of their apples are grown, pressed and bottled on site. The big outdoor deck overlooks the orchards that include apple trees recently transported from France. Try their Brandy and Pommeau too. Take home six ciders only available at their location. Their small batch ciders are not sold elsewhere, so stock up! Live music on weekends. Bring a picnic. Bike or hike through the orchards (loaner bikes available). Also visit their nearby winery, St Paul's. Coffee shop downstairs. Open Sunday-Thursday 12-6 PM, Friday & Saturday 12-7 PM.
Bold Rock Hard Cider (72 School House Road, Mills River, NC) is located between Asheville and Hendersonville - photo at top. In just a few years, it has become the largest craft cidery in the United States. Its rural setting has plenty of room with an impressive taproom, daily tours of production floor, garden picnic area, outdoor music venue and on-site food truck that serves barbecue and Southern fare. Sample eight seasonal ciders including the Rosé, Pear, Peach, IPA and Carolina Apple. They have special happenings every night of the week, including live music Friday-Sunday. Hours vary seasonally. For most of the year, they are open Mon-Wed, 1-9 PM, Thurs-Sat 11 AM-10 PM, Sunday 11-8 PM. It's 20 minutes from downtown Asheville.