By Thomas Pankratz

Woodchuck was founded at the Joseph Cerniglia Winery in Proctorsville, Vermontin 1991 by Joe Cerniglia and Barry Blake, along with wine maker Greg Failing. While cider production began in Cerniglia’s winery, by 1996 the company was producing 400,000 cases of product per year, necessitating a move to a cidery in Springfield, Vermont.

“The original cider maker, Greg, was quite literally making cider out of his garage, which is actually where the name [Woodchuck] comes from,” said Bar Manager JC Dugan. “It’s in reference to someone that works hard and crafts something with their hands. One of Greg’s friends, when he was tasting them on kind of the original iterations of the cider, referred to him as a woodchuck, and the name stuck.”

In 2000, Woodchuck moved to its current production facility in Middlebury, Vermont, and by 2007 had become the first cider company in the nation to sell one million cases in one year. In 2021, Woodchuck celebrated their 30th anniversary.

While Woodchuck is a New England favorite, it officially achieved national distribution in 2012. The company has been sold and purchased several times over the years and is currently owned by Northeast Drinks Group as of April 2021.  New releases have been a huge success for their company. Trail blazers in the cider market with some ups and downs but they are going strong to this day. If you’re like me, they were one of the first ciders I ever tried and too be honest I kind of forgot about them but now with their innovations, quality of their products and tasting them again for this article I remembered why I liked them and will be pouring a few more Woodchucks!

Woodchuck Amber Sweet

Amber, the original cider, was firsthand-filled in our two-car garage back in 1991, delivering a medium body, sweet red apple taste and golden hue. This was the first cider I ever tried. True representation of a Vermont Cider. Sweet but not too sweet. Deliciously balanced.  ABV 5%

Woodchuck Granny Smith

Blended with Granny Smith apples for a crisp taste that finishes tart and tangy. Green apple aroma with white wine like notes. Light body and light carbonation give this cider an airy feel. Tart and crisp taste with a dry and tangly finish. This cider also has a slight straw hue.

ABV 5%

Woodchuck Blueberry

Once known as “Summer Time,” this crisp apple cider is topped off with a splash of blueberry juice to keep you refreshed all season long. Fresh apple with a soft blueberry aroma. Medium body with light carbonation feel. Balanced apple with a blueberry backdrop taste.  ABV 5%

Woodchuck Mimosa

Inspired by the classic morning beverage, this cider is bursting with orange zest and citrus notes. A subtle hint of vanilla makes this effervescent and juicy cider perfect with any meal or on its own!  ABV 5%

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