There’s a dang fine reason why the Cold Hollow Cider Mill is both a top New England producer of fresh apple cider and one of Vermont’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s because we do it the real old-fashioned way, making pure cider with a traditional rack and cloth press built in the 1920s — and, by gosh, you can come watch. We press year-round, and we’re open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. till 6 p.m., closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
After you’ve seen cider made, explore our vintage mill. Our shelves are stuffed with fine Vermont specialty foods and products, and you can sample jellies, mustards, and cider (sampling may vary). Watch our live bees make honey (behind glass!) in our Honey Corner. Honeybees are stars of the apple world, don’t you know — they pollinate the orchards each spring when the blossoms are out.
You’ll be lured by the warm aroma to try some legendary Cold Hollow Cider Donuts. Gourmet magazine called ‘em one of the country’s top four donuts, by gosh — and no wonder! Have ‘em hot with fresh Vermont coffee or hot cider, then choose some treats from our all-natural bakery. Apple pies, pumpkin rolls, maple cream cheese pockets, apple-cheddar squares ... oh, there’s lots more.
Across the driveway is our Apple Core Luncheonette and Beer Store (plenty of Hard Cider Too),
The Cold Hollow Cider Mill began ...
In 1974, Eric and Francine Chittenden, descendents of Vermont’s first governor, were starting out as farmers near the base of the Cold Hollow Mountains in rural northwest Vermont. They started making apple cider for friends, with a press that Eric picked up somewhere. (Eric was always finding cool old stuff.) Before long, the couple saw real business potential in making cider the true, traditional way.
Eric and Francine created a vision. They would make enough cider to distribute to supermarkets, and become a real Vermont tourist attraction. Searching for the perfect location, they settled on Route 100 in central Vermont, between Waterbury (with its Interstate 89 exit) and Stowe (with lots of skiers and tourists). In 1976, they bought the old Gibbs farm in Waterbury Center.
This was a classic Vermont dairy farm, dating to the 1800s, with a house attached to the barn. The Chittendens lived in the house, raising their three kids there, right up till they sold the business in 2000. They still live right nearby, on the shores of the Waterbury Reservoir.
After decades of additions, the old place sure doesn’t look the same! Added has been a Jelly Room, large production facility, two cold-storage rooms — for apples and finished product — and a large bottling facility. But the original barn still houses our cider press and our store, where we make our cider donuts and feature specialty foods, baked goods, cheese, honey, maple syrup, hot beverages, and lots more Vermont goodness.