September 6 - NICA competition

  • International judges will be judging the competing ciders. Competition venue: cider bar "Sidrērija" in Old Town Riga.
  • 19:30 - welcome get-together at “Sidrērija” (20 EUR/ pers. Participantion only for judges, hosts and participants of the NICA competition. Number of participants is limited.)

September 7 - "Riga Food" exhibition, awards, and festival

  • 11:00 official opening of the "Riga Food" exhibition by the Minister of agriculture of Latvia, Mr. Didzis Šmits. Award ceremony of NICA competition.
  • ~12:00 cider Festival with tastings of international and Latvian ciders at the Latvian Cider Route exhibition stand. For international cider producers - participation (2-3h) free of charge. Tasting for invited guests and professionals, for general public - cider tokens will be available for purchase.
  • 19:00 guided walking tour from hotel Avalon via Riga old town to restaurant.
  • 20:00 dinner in Riga old town. Riga City council greeting to the participants. (dinner 40 EUR/pers. Number of participants is limited.)

September 8 - Professionals' discussions and experience exchange on the "Cider route"

  • 09:30 - coffee and registration.
  • Exhibition of Latvian apple and pear varieties developed and selected for cider production by the Dobele institute of horticulture.
  • 10:00 - cider seminar in "Riga Food" seminar hall No.1 (2nd floor, conference Room No 3).
  • 13:00 lunch.
14:00 - departure by bus to visit Latvian cider makers. We will visit Abava Winery and Sabile Cider, the two largest cider producers in Kurzeme region, western part of Latvia. The visit will culminate with a friendly dinner at RestoTerase restaurant in Sabile town. Expect a late return to Riga.
N.B. This excursion is exclusively available for judges, hosts, and participants of the NICA competition. We recommend early registration as spaces are limited.
Abava Winery
(excursion + degustation)
Abava Winery is located in the Abava valley, in Kurzeme region, by the northernmost vineyards of Europe. The Barkāns family first thought of the idea of running their own winery during their wedding trip, when they were visiting the oldest European wineries. In their large apple orchard of 4 hectares, there are old apple trees planted during the Soviet era, which are of that time's industrial apple varieties.
Sabile Cider
(excursion + degustation)
The owners of Sabile Cider brewery are the Circenis family - Aldis and Baiba. The idea of a cider factory was born both in the cultivated family garden near Sabile with its old, large apple trees and by getting to know the ancient traditions of cider culture and production in the old cider countries of England and France.
*19:00 "RestoTerase" in Sabile
(dinner for invited guests)
RestoTerase is a family owned restaurant in the center of Sabile, in the heart of the ancient valley of Abava River. Here you can enjoy delicious dishes and the beverages of the Abava winery.
~22/23:00 return to Riga

September 9 - study tour on the Latvian "Cider route"

During the day, we will visit three smaller-scale but highly innovative cider producers, who own apple orchards in Vidzeme region, central part of Latvia. Additionally, we'll take a leisurely stroll through the enchanting historical village of Līgatne in Gauja National Park. The day will conclude with a meal at the chef's house-restaurant, "Pavāru māja."
N.B. This excursion is exclusively available for judges, hosts, and participants of the NICA competition. We recommend early registration as spaces are limited.

9:00 departure from Riga by bus
Turkalne manor
(excursion + degustation)
Turkalne Manor, established in 1604, is a place where history intersects with modern technologies, and where homemade beer, cider, and wine are produced. Next to the manor, is Turkalne Manor Barn, restored in 2018. At the manor, visitors can learn more about its history, as well as sample beer, wine, and snacks. The second floor of the manor barn provides ample space for hosting social and themed events.
Mr. Plūme Cidery
(excursion + degustation)
The Plūme family company have been making cider since 2010. Their cider making skills were gained and honed by learning and working at the best French and Austrian cideries, as well as by countless experiments of their own. Their fruit orchard is 1.5 ha in size, and has apple trees, pear trees, and various berry bushes. The orchard includes rare and aromatic dessert apple varieties, various wild apple varieties, the latest apple selection hybrids, unusual varieties found along roadsides, and also the so called “true” cider apples, as well as some Austrian cider apple varieties.
(excursion + degustation)
The winery was founded in 2019 and is located in Lēdmane parish, Krape manor. It is placed in vaulted cellars which are more than 300 years old. The name "LAUSKIS" was given in honour of Vilis Lauskis, the great grandfather of the winery owner, Vents Grinbaums. Wine and cider are produced from local fruits and berries that are biologically grown in orchards next to the winery. Many of the apple trees have been planted more than 100 years ago by the famous gardener, and generations took care of them.
Ligatne village

For already 200 years the name of Ligatne has been related to the Paper Mill. Its historical centre together with historical buildings of the Mill and wooden living houses of the Mill’s workers is included in the list of cultural monuments of national importance. Visiting Ligatne it is possible to imagine the life of 19th Ct workers’ life, to take a look into some of numerous cellar caves, used to keep potatoes and vegetables, to taste the local wines in a cave and enjoy the nature of the Gauja valley. In 2011 Ligatne Village was awarded as national winner of European Destinations of Excellency (EDEN) due to efforts to preserve and develop Ligatne’s industrial heritage.

The chef's house "Pavāru māja"
The chef's house is located in the former Līgatne Maternity Hospital "Wilhelma". It is intended as a place for chefs as well as other interested parties to do, create and experiment. The author of the idea is chef Ēriks Dreibants. The aim of this place is to encourage you to explore and discover the unique tastes and experiences of our region. The chef's house supports the slow food philosophy and the surrounding farmers and producers. Next to the house there is a Nature Observers' Garden, where there is a playground "Nest in the Tree", a magnifying glass for a closer look at the elements of nature, and a picnic area with a fireplace. There is an herb garden in the garden, fruit trees and berry bushes have been compiled, but in the center of it, next to the Bird Watching Square, there is a Butterfly Meadow.

~19:30/20:00 return to Riga