The county of Herefordshire in the West Midlands of England is coming together to host the first conference of the recently-formed International Network of Cider Culture & Tourism Destinations this autumn. As interest in cider continues to grow throughout the world, “Ciderlands” as the network is known, seeks to promote travel and cultural exchanges between classic and emerging cider regions, as well as to act as a cider tourism beacon for the world as a whole.
Comprising four days of activities across the county in peak harvest time, Ciderlands 2019 will offer an unparalleled showcase of the region’s proud cider heritage to the cider tourism professionals from throughout the network. In addition, a number of notable public events offer the opportunity to leave a legacy of celebrating the region’s unique cider culture within the local community.
Delegates will enjoy the full Herefordshire experience, with visits to classic country pubs, a tour of the Mappa Mundi and the opportunity to visit The Big Apple’s Harvestime festival, complete with traditional cidermaking and apple displays.
Crucially, Ciderlands provides an opportunity to remind Herefordians of cider’s great heritage as well as the role that cider continues to play in the county. A Cider Celebration will take place at The Cider Museum on Friday 11 October, while The Green Dragon will host a Cider Banquet the likes the city has never seen on Saturday 12 October.
To achieve this, the Museum of Cider, Hereford, is joining forces with The Big Apple Association, Hereford’s iconic city center hotel, The Green Dragon, and tourism partners Hereford Tourism Information and Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire.
Working alongside these organisations to bring this event to life are two of the country’s leading cider authorities: Gabe Cook, aka The Ciderologist, and Little Pomona co-founder and cider writer, Susanna Forbes.
Support from The Pippin Trust, the Three Counties Cider & Perry Association, plus a host of cider producers large and small is enabling the conference to realise its vision.
“Within the Ciderlands network, what stands out for me is how other countries with a strong cider heritage are proud to have cider at the heart of their regional identity,” said Elizabeth Pimblett, director of the Museum of Cider. “And, if visitors are excited by that in one part of Europe, it would be wonderful to create links that will draw them to the others.”
“Herefordshire is one of the world’s greatest cidermaking regions and cultures,” said Susanna. “We want to share this with cider tourism professionals from all over the world.”
“I have had the privilege to travel the world to make, taste, and judge cider,” said Gabe. “I can say with absolute confidence that some of the finest ciders and perries in the world are made right here. Ciderlands 2019 will give us the opportunity to celebrate these brilliant drinks with those from near and far.”
Haritz Rodriguez, head of the Ciderlands secretariat, said: “There is a close cultural relationship between cider-producing countries. For this reason, as happens in other sectors, international cooperation is essential. At this crucial moment in cider’s evolution, we want to unite to cooperate in the development of this industry and above all to promote culture and tourism.”
Content published from the original press release
Editor’s note: inCiderJapan will be attending the Ciderlands conference as the delegate from Japan. Full report in our next issue.