"She treats her trees like individuals"–a neighboring farmer accuses apple grower and cidermaker Diane Flynt of lavishing too much attention on her apple trees, but high quality fruit and carefully crafted cider are the goals at Foggy Ridge Cider.
Malus domestica, the cultivated apple, has always intertwined with human life. The Romans brought the domestic apple to England; colonists took cultivated apples to America as early as 1623. In colonial America fermented cider was the drink of choice. John Adams attributed his health and long life to a tankard of cider before breakfast. Thomas Jefferson was famous for the champagne-like cider he created from the Virginia Hewe's Crab. Up until the early 20th century most rural root cellars held a cask or two of "Sunday Cider".
At Foggy Ridge Cider we aim to revive the artisan cidermaking tradition. We harvest ripe apples from our three orchards and craft small batches of carefully selected cider blends. Each season is different, and our ciders vary from year to year. The cidermaker is intimately involved in all aspects of the orchard and Cider House from grafting and pruning to picking and blending.
Apples evoke memories. When asked "What do you do?" I always reply "I grow apples and make cider." Nine times out of ten, I then hear a memory–"My grandfather made cider on the back stoop" or "We had an ancient apple tree in our back yard with hard green cooking apples." Apples and cider connect us to nature and to our powerful memories of family, tastes and sensations.
Foggy Ridge Cider offers three award winning ciders and one dessert cider, a unique blend of hard cider and apple brandy:
Serious Cider is a dry sparkling cider made from high tannin English apples and ideal as an aperitif. Serious Cider won a Gold Medal in the 2008 National Women's Wine Competition Womens' Winemaker's Challenge, one of eight gold medals awarded to women winemakers.
First Fruit, a Silver Medal winner in the International Eastern Wine Competition, is blended from early season apples, including Hewe's Crab, the apple Thomas Jefferson used for his cidermaking at Monticello. This food friendly cider bursts with apple flavor and lively acidity.
Sweet Stayman, a Sliver Medal winner in the Virginia Governor's Cup, is made from the old fashioned Stayman apple. This lightly sweet wine is perfect with spicy food or to sip on its own.
Pippin Gold dessert cider is a blend of hard cider made from 100% Newtown Pippin apples blended with Virginia made apple brandy.