Virginia Cider Week, which started in 2012 and occurs the week prior to Thanksgiving, celebrates apple drinks and their producers with an array of events throughout the state, from workshops to cider dinners.
Whether you’re in “The Mother of States” for the celebration itself or want to sip along at home, here are six Virginia ciders worth looking out for.
Widow’s Watch Cider: Brut Sparkling Virginia Apple Wine – Edinburg, VA
This award-winning Virginia apple wine is made in Shenandoah Valley exclusively from cider apples, naturally conditioned in the bottle, and cellared for over a year. The result is a refined, golden liquid with a pleasingly yeasty aroma of orchard fruit.
Potter’s Craft Cider: Harrison – Charlottesville, VA
Featuring exclusively Virginia-grown Harrison — an 18th-century American cider apple — and aged in French oak, this Charlottesville cider has good structure and a nice balance of sweetness and acidity.
Bryant’s Cider: Sumthin’ Juicy – Richmond, VA
Hops and orange peel team up with apples from Nelson County’s 386-acre Bryant farm in Sumthin’ Juicy, a tart and aromatic ode to a New England-style IPA with its dank nose and satisfyingly pithy finish.
Buskey Cider: Hewe’s Crab Cider – Richmond, VA
Made with 100% Virginia grown hewe’s crab apples. This cider boasts floral notes, evoking grapefruit peel, pear, and strawberry. Fermented to completely dry and aged on its lees for six months.
Sage Bird Ciderworks: Virginia Hewe’s Crab – Harrisonburg, Va.
Harrisonburg-grown Hewe’s Crab, one of Virginia’s most-lauded cider apples, brings a balanced bouquet of caramel and bright citrus to this small-batch single-varietal cider, which finishes with a welcome kiss of tannin.
Ciders from Mars: Hellas Dry – Staunton, VA
Fermented by scientist Nikki West in Staunton, Hellas Dry boasts a blend of modern and vintage apples grown in Virginia. Yeasty esters meet flavors of green apple and citrus, capped off by a crisp finish.
Virginia Cider Week tasting and event details can be found on each cidery’s website or social media platforms and at www.virginiacider.org/events.
Visiting the region? Check out the new Virginia Cider Trail here!
The digital Virginia Cider Trail is a free program that all Virginians or visitors of age 21 and over can sign up for. The mobile exclusive passport is a curated collection of 34 Virginia cideries, with many featuring unique deals for checking into the trail. Each check-in enters users into a grand prize raffle for a chance to win a Cidery Airbnb stay at the end of the year or a Virginia Cider Trail hooded sweatshirt at the end of each quarter. The trail is a year-long program that will run through June 25, 2023, and more cideries are expected to join throughout the year.