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 (Ķīpsalas street 8, Riga).
  • ~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. >>> Here is more information and the rules for the cider festival.
  • 19:00 guided walking tour from hotel Avalon via Riga old town to restaurant "Melnais Ķiploks / Balck Garlic" (Smilšu street 2, Riga).
  • 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"

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. For confirmed participants only.
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 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. For confirmed participants only.

9:00 departure from Riga by bus
Turkalne manor
(coffee, 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 has 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. The Plūme family company has been making cider since 2010. We will visit their cidery and fruit orchard, which is 1.5 hectares in size and includes apple trees, pear trees, and various berry bushes. The orchard features rare and aromatic dessert apple varieties, various wild apple varieties, the latest apple selection hybrids, unusual varieties found along roadsides, as well as the so-called 'true' cider apples and some Austrian cider apple varieties.
Līgatne winery
(excursion + degustation)
Līgatne wines and ciders are made from fruits, berries, plants and flowers grown in the territory of Gauja National Park. The hosts offer a romantic candlelit tasting of cider and other drinks in the sandstone caves of Līgatne.

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, 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