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Since 1607, Virginians have embraced wine as a staple of culinary society and an exportable cash crop. Commonly known as The Father of American Wine, Thomas Jefferson introduced his countrymen to the European custom of taking wine with meals and obliged George Washington by choosing the spirits for the first White House wine cellar.
Thomas Jefferson’s champagne-like cider, made with Hewe’s Crabapples, was his “table drink”. Throughout the 19th century, growing apples and crafting cider from cider apples was an integral part of every community. Many Virginia cidermakers now aim to revive the cider tradition by growing, or encouraging others to grow cider apples, and by crafting fine cider. Visit Virgina's cidermakers.
Across Virginia travelers discover both large-volume breweries and microbreweries, all hand-crafted for limited distribution. Enjoy nearly a dozen microbrewery-restaurant establishments known
as brewpubs, too.
With 60 breweries and more opening every year, Virginia has become a mecca for the craft beer industry. Virginia's oldest brewery, Legend Brewing Company, celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014.
Explore the trails - Nelson 151 Trail, the Red, White and Brew Trail, or the Brew Ridge Trail - for beautiful scenery, delicious, locally-sourced meals and some of Virginia's finest craft beer.
Speaking of George Washington, check out his Distillery at Mount Vernon! Interpreters demonstrate the functionality of this, the largest 18th century distillery in America.
Visit Stillhouse Dillstillery at Belmont Farm in Culpeper to see how legal moonshine - Virginia Lightning - is made, and take home a bottle or two from their gift shop.
See how the spirits come about when you tour A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg.
In Purcellville, you can tour Catoctin Creek Distillery, producers of award-winning Rye whiskeys, brandy, and seasonal specialty liqueurs.
Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville is the only distillery in North American malting their own Barley. Take a tour and then take home their Single Malt American Whisky and "Applewood-aged" Rye Whisky.
Woods Mill Distillery in Faber is currently in production of an array of their own small batch Whiskies and Brandies. They routinely use harvested corn from crops planted on their properties for their whisky products and utilize locally grown fruits for their Brandies.
Whatever your taste, you will find plenty to quench your thirst in Virginia. Here's to a great Virginia vacation!
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