Welcome yourself to the world of apple wine with a visit to Albemarle Ciderworks in North Garden, Va. No grapes allowed.
Vintage Virginia turned creative and began to press and ferment those apples, thus creating Albemarle Ciderworks, a family-run cidery and tasting room featuring varieties of apples that thrive in Albemarle County, Va.
Currently the cidery offers eight different varietals of cider, including the Old Virginia Winesap and Royal Pippin. As with most apple ciders, you'll find a crisp, tart flavor with the consistency of beer because of the natural carbonation that occurs during fermenting. Some wine critics will turn their head at the taste, but we always root for the underdog.
The tasting room is situated by the orchards and offers tastings Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On the patio, you'll almost always find live music on most weekends along with other special events.
Workshops teach the science of cider making, as well as horticulture and orcharding skills. (Yes, that's a verb.) Other workshops include tastings, lunch and hands-on opportunities in the orchards with experts. They start out at $35 for a simple lesson on how to prune to $125 for an all-day forum
on cider making.
Albemarle Ciderworks is located at 2545 Rural Ridge Lane in North Garden, Va., about two hours from downtown D.C.