The Madison County Farm Bureau will host a celebrity bartending night at Owera Vineyards from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13. All tips generated at the event will benefit the hunger-relief mission of Food Bank of Central New York.
Critz Farms is known across Central New York as a premier place to visit to get apples, pumpkins, maple cider and Christmas trees — not to mention the animals to see and pet, the playground for the kids and the food to eat — but what most people may not know is that 2015 is the 30th year of business in Cazenovia for Matt and Juanita Critz. And after 30 years in business the Critzes have no intention to slow down — they have announced that by spring 2016 they plan to start brewing their own beer and selling it under the company name of Critz Farms Brewing and Cider Company.
Harvest Moon Cidery to make 2,000 bottles of cider
When Matt and Juanita Critz, owners of Critz Farm and the Harvest Moon Cidery on Rippleton Road, decided to invite the public to contribute wild apples to help make a new “Community Cider” by Harvest Moon, they were hoping at least a few people might find it interesting and participate. Their goal was to receive at least 50 bushels of apples, which is half of what is necessary to make one batch of hard cider, and if their collection fell a little — or a lot — short, they would just use their own apples to fill in what was needed. On Sunday, Oct.4, the final day of the weeklong community apple collection project they were doing, the Critzes were somewhat surprised to find they did not make their goal – they quadrupled it.
Alicyn Hart said she will never move a restaurant again — but she’s also hopeful she won’t have to. The former proprietor of the popular Cazenovia restaurant Circa, that closed its Albany Street doors more than one year ago due to rising rent costs, is planning to reanimate her signature establishment in a new building and a new location early next year — on Route 20 East at the four corners of Nelson.
Construction crews currently can be seen working on two houses at the four corners of Nelson that, when completed, promise to forever alter the food and beverage landscape in the Nelson-Cazenovia area. While a restaurant, nanobrewery and cigar shop are currently in the works to be created inside the two buildings — officially to be called Nelson Corners — a coffee roaster business is now up and running, selling coffee online and preparing for a storefront grand opening event on Oct. 3.
More than 250 people turned out last week to eat, drink, mingle and — most importantly — help raise funds for the Cazenovia Children’s House during the organization’s annual Taste of Cazenovia fundraising event, held this year at the Cazenovia Country Club.
The wild apple crop this year has been huge in Central New York, and it gave Matt and Juanita Critz, owners of Critz Farm and Harvest Moon Cidery in Cazenovia, an idea: Why not ask community members to bring in their wild apples and use those to make a Cazenovia “community” hard cider? Contributors could help press the apples, receive some free bottles of the finished product and even designate a local charity to receive apportion of the proceeds from bottle sales.
In last week’s issue, the Republican listed as many ribbon winners from the then-ongoing New York State Fair as it could, in competitions in everything from arts and crafts to agriculture to animal husbandry to cooking to talent competitions. Further ribbon winners have been announced since that time, and we take the opportunity to share their achievements:
For more than a year Cazenovians have been wondering what business would be going into the former Circa location at 76 Albany St., that downtown corner space wrapped in windows? On Friday, Aug. 28, the answer opened its doors for business: The Loka Leaf Tea Lounge.
Life of Reilley Distilling and Wine Company, headquartered in Nelson, celebrated its one-year anniversary in business only last week — and already its three kinds of vodka are selling in 65 outlets across 23 counties in New York state, with requests to expand to California, Arizona, Georgia and New Jersey. But the big news owners Ben and Shioban Reilley announced on social media on Aug. 4 was a different kind of landmark: the upcoming release of their new canned cocktail, “Disco Lemonade.”
Originally located in Cazenovia, Kimberly’s Ice Cream Factory will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in Manlius on Aug. 13 by re-creating each of the photographs that hang in the store taken more than 10 years ago.
For the first time since 1978, Lieutenant General Michael Basla, a retired senior cyberspace officer at the Pentagon, has returned to Cazenovia to live — and to start up a new local distillery that will produce whiskey, bourbon, gin and vodka and become a new member of the Cazenovia Beverage Trail. Basla, along with his son-in-law Patrick Ruddy and his son Adam Basla (who currently lives in Germany), has just returned from a trip to Germany to purchase his distillery equipment, and plans to break ground on his new endeavor, Madison County Distillery, by the end of August.
Shoppers at the Cazenovia Farmers Market who enjoy buying organically grown products from James and Ada Yoder’s Local Roots Farm stand now can purchase a wider array of offerings from the Yoder’s recently opened farm market on Fenner Road. The Yoder family, which is participating for its second year at the farmers market, last year specialized in salad greens and eggs. This year, with the opening of their new market at their farm provide a variety of specialty items like granola and pancake mixes, among other products.
The Pewter Spoon Café and Eatery, located on 87 Albany St., is now supplementing the current café by adding an alter ego known as the “tea spoon,” which offers a variety of teas from organic farms all over the world.
Owera Vineyards has been winning medals for the quality of its Cazenovia-made wines for years, and now Madison County’s only winery is seeking to make a new mark on people’s palates with its food. Owera has started the 2015 summer season with a new chef and a new tasting room menu — with all the ingredients coming not just locally, but many from Owera’s own backyard.