Virginia's Hard Ciders

Toast the holidays with craft ciders from Virginia

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    Castle Hill Cider, Keswick, Virginia

    In addition to stunning surroundings, Castle Hill offers four food-friendly ciders, including its flagship sparkling variety, Levity, which relies on a 7,000-year-old method of burying terra-cotta vessels underground during fermentation. www.castlehillcider.com

    Margaret Houston

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    Albemarle Ciderworks, North Garden, Virginia

    Heirloom apples are the focus at Albemarle Ciderworks, which is located smack in the middle of the Shelton family’s heritage-apple-growing Vintage Virginia orchard. Worth noting is the Royal Pippin cider, made from the area’s legendary (and historic) Albemarle Pippin apple. pegandawlbuilt.com

    Margaret Houston

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    Bold Rock Hard Cider, Nellysford, Virginia

    Native New Zealander and cider master Brian Shanks is internationally renowned for his craft. Now that he’s been wooed to Virginia, he’s putting out sweet, crisp local ciders, the area’s only ones available in beer bottles. boldrock.com

    Margaret Houston

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    Potter's Craft Cider, Free Union, Virginia

    Operating out of a renovated horse veterinary clinic they found on Craigslist, twentysomethings Daniel Potter and Tim Edmond are focused on a more egalitarian (and less expensive) approach to cider. Just released is their Oak Barrel Reserve, which is aged in brandy barrels. potterscraftcider.com

    Margaret Houston

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    Old Hill Cider, Timberville, Virginia

    An offshoot of family-run Showalter’s Orchard, Old Hill is one of the new kids on the block. Its first variety, Betwixt, is already sold out, but you can expect Yesteryear (a mix of pippin, winesap, and stayman apple varieties) and Cidermaker’s Barrel (aged in bourbon barrels) to arrive in spring 2013. oldhillcider.com

    Margaret Houston

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