We’ll be updating this page with answers to our most commonly asked customer questions, but feel free to ask your question directly through our Contact Us page. Thanks!
Do you have a tasting room?
Yes! We opened our very own tasting room, bottle shop and fruit stand in Cameron, NC in November, 2019, with views of the orchard, seating for about 40 people inside, and more seating outdoors on the wrap-around porches and cider-garden. We have food trucks, music bingo every Thursday, live music a few times every month, first and third Sunday Farmers’ Markets, and other fun cider-themed events.
What hours is the tasting room open?
Wednesday & Thursday – 4 – 9 pm
Friday & Saturday – 1 – 9 pm
Sunday – 1 – 7 pm
Is your cider available at local shops and restaurants?
You can find Stargazer in bottle shops, restaurants, breweries, and pubs nearby in North Carolina. We are currently self-distributing throughout Moore County and into the Triangle Area including Pittsboro, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Star and Saxapahaw. Take a look at the Restaurants & Retail page for a complete list of places to get our cider.
We only produce a limited amount of James Creek Cider House ciders each harvest year, so those ciders have a very limited distribution to restaurants and shops and are easiest to purchase directly from us at the tasting room, or the Carrboro Farmers’ Market or online.
Do you ship cider?
Yes, we can now ship cider within North Carolina and to about 38 states across the US. Check the “Buy Online” link for more information.
Where do you get your apples?
We grow over 75 different kinds of Southern heirloom and cider apples in our orchards in Cameron and Vass, NC. We focus on Southern heirlooms since these apples were grown on family farms across the South for generations prior to Prohibition and the industrialization that followed WWII. We are grateful to the work of Lee Calhoun, author, researcher and nurseryman, who gathered scionwood of over 400 old Southern apples, preserving them for posterity. Most of our apples come directly from his efforts. We also get apples from the NC Brushy Mountains and Hendersonville, NC. North Carolina is among the top 10 apple growing states in the US and has a long tradition of apple cultivation. Recently, we have bought pressed apple juice from growers in New England, who grow some of the same varieties we do, to better understand our unique terroir here in the Sandhills, but we have not yet released these ciders.
Do you grow your apples organically?
We strive to be sustainable in everything we do and have been recognized by the Good Food Foundation (goodfoodfdn.org)for our responsible approach to orcharding and cider-making. We minimize the use of pesticides through integrated pest management, using organic preparations and opting for pheromone disruption and growth regulators where possible and practical. You’ll like see some spots on the apples we sell fresh, and the really funny-looking ones go into the cider.
How do you make cider and how long does it take?
Cider is made in much the same way as wine. We crush and press apples, in single varietal batches as much as possible, capture the juice, pitch yeast (usually) and wait. We strive for long, slow fermentations through the winter months, then rack the cider off the yeast into a clean container and cold condition it until it clarifies. Then we do mini (150ml) test batches blending three or four different kinds of apples until we achieve the balance of acidity and tannins and finally a bit of juice for the sweetness that is characteristic of each of our ciders (Mighty Hunter, Big Dipper, etc). We make only one batch of each of the James Creek ciders from a given harvest and mature those ciders to release one year later when we begin the signature apples from those ciders begin ripening. (For example, Harvest Moon 2018 was released in October 2019 when we began harvesting Old Fashioned Winesap, Stayman, and Wickson Crab apples.)
Are your ciders gluten-free?
Yes, all our ciders are gluten-free and have that stated on their label except Southern Star and Star Struck since those ciders are aged in bourbon barrels and some people with gluten issues report a sensitivity to bourbon.
Are your ciders vegan?
All our ciders are vegan except Stargazer’s Beehive Ginger which is made with honey.
Are children welcome?
Yes, we have fresh, sweet cider and sodas for children, plus a high chair and a changing table in one of the restrooms. There is also cornhole, tic-tac-toe, and checkers for children of all ages.
Many parents bring picnic blankets and toys for their children to keep them occupied outside. Since this is a working farm, we ask folks not to stray from the parking areas or cider garden into the orchards, and to keep their children with them at all times.
Are dogs welcome in the tasting room?
Yes, we welcome leashed, well-behaved dogs in the tasting room.