New Rockbridge cidery prepares for opening day

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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY (WDBJ7) The Halcyon Days Cidery is preparing to open at last.

It’s been on Route 11 long enough to be a familiar sight, literally years in the making.

“A lot of up front work, because we wanted to grow mostly our own apples, and mostly heirloom American varieties, old cider varieties,” says owner Larry Krietemeyer.

And not just in any orchard. In their main orchard, right by the work and tasting rooms, they don’t look like your average apple trees. Training them to grow along lines is called espalier, and they’re arranged to do more than just grow fruit.

“It’s an eleven circuit labyrinth," explains Krietemeyer. "We’re going to open it up periodically for people to walk through if they want. Basically ten times the scale of the original Chartres labyrinth.”

Capped with a smaller version in a pavilion on the top.

“It’s kind of a calming thing, when you walk the path,” he says.

Because this isn’t designed to be a big business. Much of the work is hand-done, one bottle at a time.

Because that’s what Halcyon Days means: Older Ways, Better Days.

“Same thing with walking the labyrinth," Krietemeyer says. "It’s just the path you take to reach a goal that’s the rewarding part of it. Not the end goal itself, but the journey to get there. So that’s why we enjoyed it.”

You can try it out Friday, but only at the cidery.