Coolest northforker stories of 2017: Riverhead Ciderhouse opens

The main tasting room at Riverhead Ciderhouse in Baiting Hollow. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

A new cider tasting room, Long Island’s largest cidery to date, opened in Calverton this year.

Riverhead Ciderhouse, an 8,000-square-foot tasting room, café and retail space, opened in March. The sprawling facility has 48 different taps behind the bar, dispensing wines from Lieb Cellars and Martha Clara, beer from Long Ireland and Great South Bay and, of course, its own cider.

The cider, made from New York apples, is produced by veteran North Fork winemaker Greg Gove, who previously worked at Hargrave Vineyards, Pindar Vineyards, Laurel Lake Vineyards and Peconic Bay Winery.

The building has a café, two private tasting spaces and one large open tasting room, complete with two fireplaces, couches and tables. Almost all of the furniture is
used, donated or recycled. The tables in the main tasting room are made from old doors with seats taken from old tractors.

The 108,000-square-foot warehouse had been used for agricultural storage, though the property’s principal owner, J. Kings Food Service, initiated plans to turn it into a tasting room and production facility several years ago. And though the facility has been very popular with visitors, some locals spoke out this year against an application to amend its site plan, arguing that the operation should not be allowed in the area. The Riverhead Town Board approved the site plan in November, with a stipulation that prohibited outside music on the property.