In 2010, there were only two cideries in Virginia.
In February 2011, the Virginia Senate passed a bill, sponsored by then Delegate David Englin, which raised the legal alcohol limit of 'hard' cider from seven to ten per cent. In 2012, then Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell issued a Virginia Cider Week Proclamation, which made Virginia the first state to have an officially proclaimed 'Cider Week.' 1
Now, in 2014, there are eleven cideries in Virginia, one of which is an urban cidery, one of only a handful such in the nation. 2
All of this is being celebrated from 14-23 November 2014, during Cider Week Virginia 2014 (actually a 10 day 'week'), the third annual such event.
“Cider Week Virginia is a great opportunity to showcase this fast-growing industry in our state,” said Cider Week spokesperson Diane Flynt [owner of Foggy Ridge Cider]. “Similar to the wonderful wines of Virginia, fine hard cider is made from well-grown fruit, fermented carefully to create a balanced and flavorful beverage. Cider Week Virginia provides many opportunities to sample the best of Virginia's artisanal cider, carefully crafted from Virginia apples.”
According to the Cider Week Virginia website, cider styles can be dry or sweet, still or sparkling, simple or complex, or even funky (think leather, oak, mushrooms!). The variety of apple is crucial to the production of good cider. Apples are selected for tannins, acid, and sweetness. High tannin levels provide the structure and mouthfeel of a cider, acid, the balance, and sweetness, the 'fruitiness.' 3
There are ten cideries participating in Virginia Cider Week.
- Albemarle Ciderworks
- Blue Bee Cider
- Bold Rock Cider
- Castle Hill Cider
- Cobbler Mountain Cellars
- Corcoran Vineyards
- Foggy Ridge Cider
- Old Hill Cider
- Potter’s Craft Cider
- Winchester Ciderworks
If only a Virginia cidery were to produce an honest-to-goodness cask scrumpy. Now, that would be worth celebrating.