True hard cider isn't even remotely like the sweet, fresh-pressed apple cider you can get at an orchard. Crisp, tart, sharp, or mild, you can taste the real thing at Winchester Ciderworks.
Founded in 2012, Winchester Ciderworks uses only the finest local apples grown in the Shenandoah Valley. Cidermaster Stephen Schuurman was longing for the traditional cider of his English homeland when he began experimenting with its production. It wasn't until he partnered with a fifth-generation orchardist, Diane Kearns at Fruit Hill Orchard, that he began pressing Virginia apples in earnest.
The cidery produces three types of products: signature ciders, barrel-aged ciders, and Thwaite's Reserve. Each category has its own distinctive characteristics, and the variety of flavors is bound to delight any cider lover. Their flagship brew, Malice, is made with a blend of five different apples and has a light, effervescent finish. Thwaite's Reserve, named for the founder of the apple orchard, is naturally fermented over a long, slow process. Left unfiltered, it is the cider most true to the versions found in the 1800s.
In addition to tasting your way through all the different ciders, you can simply enjoy a glass of your favorite and listen to live music. Winchester Ciderworks hosts local musicians from time to time, so check their Facebook page for updates and event announcements. You can even sign up for a cider-making workshop and learn all about the process,
If you're craving a proper English-style cider made with local Virginia apples, head to Winchester Ciderworks. If you can't make it to the tasting room, here is a list of retailers where you can find a can or bottle of your own.
**All of the photos in this article are courtesy of the Winchester Ciderworks Facebook page.
Have you been to Winchester Ciderworks? What are your favorite, must-try ciders? Let us know in the comments!