With crisp Fall temperatures upon us and the mountain colors getting ready to burst forth, we say it’s time to explore the outdoors! That means finding and enjoying local cideries in the area. It’s the perfect combination of apples and taste. So let’s get to it.
Orchards That Offer Local Cider
Albemarle CiderWorks located in New Garden grows a variety of apples that are becoming increasingly rare. In fact, you may not have heard of many of these varieties because they’ve fallen into obscurity.
Or, they may not fit what commercial marketing and distribution wants. The result? Apples that are full of flavor and richly scented are never used.
But at Albemarle CiderWorks, these are exactly the apples–hundred of heirlooms and local varieties–comprise their cider. And what a taste it is!
With more than 200 cultivars, many of these varieties are essentially unavailable anywhere else.
In 2009, the orchard opened the cider portion of the business, a perfect complement! They started with three distinctive ciders, Jupiter’s Legacy and Ragged Mountain,both blends and Royal Pippin, a single varietal.
Today, Albemarle CiderWorks now has 15 carefully crafted varieties for you to enjoy. Stop by their tasting room to experience out-of-this-world cider!
Additionally, in-season, you can also get fresh cider juice which is not pasteurized.Take some home. They sell it by the half and whole gallons! Albemarle CiderWorks is a rich blend of America’s culinary roots blended with modern care.
Carter Mountain Orchard
What happens when a southern farmer and an award-winning New Zealand cider maker become friends? Bold Rock Hard Cider is born!
Now the cidery has a tap room at Carter Mountain Orchard. As their tagline states, “Crushed and crafted in the Blue Ridge Mountains.” Using locally sourced apples within 35 miles of their cideries, including Carter Mountain’s apples, the fruit is picked at the height of its freshness.
Then Bold Rock extracts 85% of the volume of the apples to produce the juice that becomes the cider. Expertly fermented, the taste is crisp, refreshing and bold.
The cider is free of additives and the company is committed to “treading lightly on the land that provides our resources.”
When Carter Mountain Orchard opened the cider tap room, we were thrilled! The orchard is an easy drive from the Inn. And, there is so much you can do there.
From the country store, the orchard (check what’s in season here), and the many events they offer, our guests usually make an afternoon of it.
And, Carter Mountain Orchard also offers fresh, sweet cider that’s non-alcoholic. You can buy it buy the half or full gallon.
Blue Toad Hard Cider
Founder Todd Rath, calls his Blue Toad Hard Cider, “farm to tap.” Using locally grown apples grown in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and Western New York, the cidery uses a blend of three to four apples varieties. This differs from the European style of using tart, bitter apples.
Todd says, We believe our cider is different – more authentic, more drinkable, more responsibly produced, more of an experience – than the more mass-produced ciders that may use imported concentrates.
You’ll think so, too, when you taste it.
This wonderful cidery is located in Roseland, VA, but they just opened a second location right here in Waynesboro. Just a few miles from the Inn, stop in at 1006 E. Main Street, right in front of Basic City Brewing Company.
The Blue Toad cidery house showcases their flagship ciders, ROC Hard Amber and Blue Ridge Blondie, as well as many seasonal favorites. Want to see what’s on tap now? Click here.
Fall is a wonderful time to visit Central and Shenandoah Valley! Take advantage of all the great wineries, area attractions, and beautiful views. Here at the Iris Inn, we’ve got a room, cottage, or cabin waiting for you! Book now.