Bellwether Hard Cider and Wine Cellars

Just North of Taughannock Falls State Park – well within reach of Lansing – is an unassuming tan building – enclosing sparkling gems of liquid artistry.

Passing this building with the friendly blue sign frequently since 2003, I wondered what lived inside, but never made the turn in until yesterday, when curiosity forced my car into the parking lot. Walking around the corner, I had no idea what was ahead.Bellwether Hard Cider-0263

Pansys in pots, vines around the porched entry and a comfortable outside seating area were unexpected charms of this low profile establishment.

Inside I was greeted by Katt, a fun and engaging hostess that is unapologetically enthusiastic about the cider and wines. While tasting the ciders and wines, she explained each one and the fruit that makes each a special treat. But I heard words I did not expect.

Bellwether Hard Cider-0256European apples? Cider region of France? Excuse me, but I thought New York and Washington were the apple growing states. Another misconception torpedoed.. Like many, I always assumed that apples were uniquely American – but then, where did Johnny Appleseed get the seeds? I’ll consider over a glass of Bellwether Cherry Street Cider.

The wines are all Rieslings, each from different Finger Lakes vineyards and each with its own distinct personality. The best example of the individual character of the wines is the 2013 Wild Ferment Riesling made from grapes harvested from A&D Vineyards on the bluffs overlooking Keuka Lake. This liquid treat is the most “natural” of the Rieslings; the vintners allowing the wine to ferment naturally with no filtering. It has the taste of a stroll in the woods on a misty spring day, with a nose of green apple and lime.

Cheryl and Bill Barton began the business in 1999 after years of experimenting as home cider makers, and traveling through Europe to learn all they could about the varieties of apples and the craft of cider making.

In 2003, they constructed the building that now houses the cider and wine making operation. They also erected that friendly blue sign that finally drew me in. I never did see a “cellar” though…

Besides their cider and wine making crafts, they host weddings and receptions. Elegant stone steps lead up to the spacious lawn just behind the building and a reflecting pond that makes any event there special.

For more information about the wines, ciders and events, please visit the web site at

Bellwether Hard Cider
9070 Route 89 · Trumansburg, NY 14886
1-888-862-4337 or 607-387-9464

“Within Reach” highlights the food, wine and fun of places “within Reach” of Lansing NY. Of course, your reach extends exactly as far as you want it to. I am Monroe Payne, Uncle Monte to some. Come with me as I visit, taste and play in our own back yard, the beautiful Finger Lakes of Central New York.



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