(Apple) Wine Wednesday: Albemarle Ciderworks

This family-run cidery and tasting room features varieties of apples that thrive in Albemarle County, Va.

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Sarah Pixley
Welcome yourself to the world of apple wine with a visit to Albemarle Ciderworks in North Garden, Va. No grapes allowed.
Sarah Pixley
At Vintage Virginia Apples' orchard, there's not a grape vine in sight -- only row upon row of apple. 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.
Sarah Pixley
Currently the cidery offers eight different varietals of cider, including the Old Virginia Winesap and Royal Pippin.
Sarah Pixley
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.
Sarah Pixley
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.
Sarah Pixley
Workshops held in the nursery teach horticulture and orcharding skills.
Sarah Pixley
Other workshops include tastings, lunch and hands-on opportunities in the orchards with experts. Workshops start out at $35 for a simple lesson on how to prune to $125 for an all-day forum on cider making.
Sarah Pixley
Enjoy an a la carte picnic from local food offerings (or bring your own!), listen to live music, or host an event.
Sarah Pixley
Many heirloom apple varieties grow in the orchard, with names like Ashmead's Kernel, Albemarle Pippin, Winesap and Esopus Spitzenburg. Other fruits are cultivated here as well: pears, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and even quince.
Sarah Pixley
Vintage Virginia Apples and Albemarle Ciderworks are owned and operated by the Shelton family at 2545 Rural Ridge Lane in North Garden, Va., about two hours from downtown D.C.
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