I recently decided on my latest trip to the Charlottesville area in VA that rather than doing my usual stops at a winery to throw in something new, Cider House. Ciders have become a new favorite for people that like a sweeter drink of choice. Younger 20 somethings in particular have developed a love for the drink and an alternative to wines and brews.
My stop today was at the Castle Hill Cider house.
Originally built in 1764, Castle Hill Cider is a Virginia cidery and premiere venue for Central Virginia destination weddings and events.
Driving up into the property you are struck by the well cared and groomed meadows and property. And then once you get to the Barn itself where the tasting room sits, I was really awestruck that I had not been here before now. My friend and I got to speak with Patrick who really was engaging and captured the love of this place. Again, I’m big on tasting room staff and if they don’t engage you or have a passion for what they are doing, it shows.
We tasted 9 different ciders. They pride themselves in making apple centered, clean ciders. These ciders are not like the store bought brand which tends to add in sugars of flavors, these are purist apple juices that have fermented. Some had sediment still in the bottles, others are fermented in the kvevri eggs, or in aged whiskey casks and even one variety they ferment using a champagne method. The variety of apples used were also intriguing and many varieties I myself have not heard of like “gold rush” and “black twig” . Most of the apples are sourced locally and on-site and they are planting many more acres here as well. The cider themselves did mostly taste like lighter apples juices with some hints of earth and flavor – we enjoyed the Serendipity and Gravity the best. Bravo Castle Hill.
Trully a gem not just for the unique taste of the ciders themselves but the venue is stunning and well worth a visit – its sits virtually across the road from the Keswick Winery outside of Charlottesville, VA