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Sunday, October 13, 2013

In-Cider Scoop on Foggy Ridge from the Wine Dogs

Foggy Ridge Cider
Dugspur, Virginia

Taking a break from their usual weekend wining, Ecco and Pomeroy decidered to check out Virginia’s blooming hard cider industry.  And where to start but Virginia’s first modern cidery – Foggy Ridge Cider.
Yes, it is indeed a foggy ridge.
Diane Flynt - the First Lady of Virginia Hard Cider – planted her orchard in 1996 and fermented her first vintage of cider in 2005. Today, Diane’s Garden of Eden outside Floyd, Virignia, grows 30 different varieties of apples, spread across 200 acres and produces 4,000 to 5,000 cases of cider a year.  
Don't expect your grocery store variety of apples – cider apples are tart and tannin: “They call them spitters for a reason,” Cider Slinger Connie told the Wine Dogs were told during their tasting.
 
It’s a different story after the apples spend 6-8 weeks in steel tanks and are transformed into delightful sparkling beverages that left the Wine Dogs be-cide themselves with joy.
The walls of the cidery are replete with article of accolades for Foggy Ridge from local and national publications (will we see the Wine Dog review on our next visit?).
We loved the quote from Virginia Wooff:

Connie poured four distinct hand-crafted ciders.
The Serious Cider reminded the Wine Dogs of a Brut Champagne (or Virginia Sparkling Blanc de Blanc). Three ingredients go into the cider – apples, carbonation, and yeast.
Serious Cider is made from Old English apple varieties, including Roxbury Russets which are found just across from the cidery.  The Wine Dogs found it paired well with cheese as they enjoyed a bottle at a table overlooking the orchard.

Foggy Ridge's First Fruit cider blends early season American heirloom apples – grafted from Thomas Jefferson’s trees at Monticello. This is a rich fruity cider with lively acidity.

Little Ecco gave her “Paws Up” to the Sweet Stayman – a crossover cider with 2.3 percent residual sugar. The Cider blends Virginia Stayman apples with heirloom varieties like Pink Lady and Grimes Golden. The result is a lightly sweet cider.
The older and more sophisticated Pomeroy gave his enthusiastic two Paws Up to the Port-style cider, Pippin Gold. The cider is blends Newtown Pippin hard cider with apple brandy from Laird and Company, America’s oldest distillery, making Apple Jack since 1780. 

There are currently eight cideries in Virginia – chances are you’ve passed signs for one or two as you wine your way across the Commonwealth.
The Wine Dogs note that one of our fav local wineries, Cobbler Mountain, released a wicked sparkling hard cider of its own over Columbus Day Weekend, which earned a “Paws Up” from both pups.

Check them all out during Cider Week Virignia!

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