Cideries are on the rise in Virginia and Maryland. Here are the best to visit:
2545 Rural Ridge La., North Garden, Va.; 434-979-1663
This Charlottesville-area orchard specializes in vintage Virginia apples and is one of the best places to explore single-variety ciders, such as the spicy creation made from Black Twig apples. Glasses can be paired with local cheeses and meats in the tasting room.
6065 Turkey Sag Rd., Keswick, Va.; 434-296-0047
This horse-country cidery makes for a picturesque visit, with a firelit tasting room and a porch overlooking the fields. That’s not to say the ciders lack substance: Try the sparkling Levity, aged in clay vessels traditionally used in Georgian winemaking.
5533 Gapland Rd., Jefferson, Md.; 240-344-8856
More than 45 apple varieties populate DLC’s orchard, and its offerings include Spanish-style sidra and English sparklers. Fall is the best time to tour the place, while cider maker Tim Rose teaches his craft in the winter/spring off-season.
2019 Monkton Rd., Monkton, Md.; 410-967-3463
While Maryland trails Virginia in cider production, father-and-son “fermentologists” Curt and Kyle Sherrer produce some of the highest-quality bottles around. Don’t miss the Bonfire, aged in oak with smoked fish peppers and clover honey.
This article appears in our January 2016 issue of Washingtonian.