North Carolina Wine Reviews: McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks Hard Cider | North Carolina Wine TV
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Episode 28: McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks Hard Cider

North Carolina Wine TV Review:
This is not the hard cider that you are used to drinking. This sparkling cider made from North Carolina apples is more like white wine than many white wines made today. Everything about this cider is complex and interesting. It is dry, floral and has great minerals that come through on the nose and in the mouth. This is not a sweet cider and people expecting that will be disappointed. What this is however, is a demonstration of what a great winemaker can do with a quality starting product. Everything about the apple shines in this cider, from the flavor of the peel to the ground the trees grow in. This bottle isn’t for everyone, but those who like it, will be entranced by its complexity and be amazed that someone could take apples and turn them into this type of beverage.

Rating: ★★★★☆

according to the North Carolina Wine Ratings Scale

Price: $15

Availability: Select wine stores and directly from the winery.

About McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks Hard Cider (from the winery):
Hard cider is fermented apple juice. The most popular beverage in North America until the mid-nineteenth century, hard cider is enjoying renewed popularity especially in the apple growing regions of the United States. Hard cider comes in many styles, with varying levels of dryness, alcohol and effervescence.

A good hard cider derives from a blend of different types apples, each with its own distinct character. Some are highly acidic while others are tannic, bitter or sweet. By combining many apples with different characteristics, cider makers achieve complexity.

The style of McRitchie Hard Cider is similar to that traditionally found in the Brittany region of northern France, a sharp, dry, brilliantly clear sparkling beverage. Our apples are handpicked at an orchard located in the Brushy Mountains of North Carolina. Each blend is selected from a variety of heritage mountain apples with the goal of creating a structured, elegant cider that captures the essence of a fresh picked apple. This is a true artisanal product of North Carolina.

About McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks (from the winery):
After a lifetime spent growing grapes and making wines for others we decided it was finally time to grow and make it for ourselves. We had developed a deep affection for our corner of the Yadkin Valley and a vision of a vibrant new North Carolina wine industry. It was with boundless excitement that we planted our first five acres of grapes in 2004 on the flanks of the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The doors of the winery opened in time for the 2006 harvest and the tasting room opened in May of 2007.

McRitchie Hard Cider on

Locate McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks

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11 Responses to “Episode 28: McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks Hard Cider”

  1. Al Minneman says:

    The cider from McRitchie,s is one of the best products they make. I like to have it on hot summer evenings. It’s great to end the day with.
    But I think the best product from McRitchie,s is there Ring of Fire Red wine

  2. Jeff Cohen says:


    Thanks for the comment. We greatly admire Sean McRitchie’s skill as a winemaker, both for others like Round Peak and for his own winery. We have enjoyed the McRitchie Falling Waters White and the Hard Cider. On your recommendation, we look forward to trying the Ring of Fire red.

  3. Malay Patel says:

    Has anyone visited the winery? I wanted to take my wife on a wine tour and the winery looked interesting? What services do they offer?

    Any comments on the owner and their hospitality would be much appreciated?

  4. Jeff Cohen says:


    According to this winery tour report from the Winston Salem Journal,, a trip to the McRitchie Winery sounds like a relaxing and enjoyable time.

  5. Man… I’m usually very disappointed in cider reviews from wine folks yet you guys seem to get it correct. Wine reviewers usually can’t get past their pre-programmed pre-memorized selection of wine descriptors.

    Having started drinking cider in England is a terrific start. Forget all that super sweet stuff the big companies make! Try it Dry!

    About the packaging… They shoulda used a dark bottle but looks nice none the less.

  6. Jeff Cohen says:

    Thanks for the comments. Great to hear from a cider guy that we got our cider review right. We do try to describe and review things on their own merits, or as compared to other things in that category. As interesting as this cider was, we reviewed the semi-sweet version, and they also produce one labeled as dry. We can’t wait to try that one too.

  7. Malay Patel says:

    Thanks Jeff, this confirms a trip out to Stone Mountain and McRitchie. I’ll report back with what I find. Keep up the good work :)

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  9. Jessica says:

    Nice review, I visited this winery and enjoyed this cider as well. There is a great atmosphere there children playing and dogs relaxing in the sun. Even a tree swing with a view of the vineyard!

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