The arrival of fall marks apple time in Virginia - and one of the best ways to enjoy Virginia’s apple harvest is by making a stop at one or more of the numerous cideries throughout the state.
There is truly a Virginia cider for every palate and preference: cideries in Virginia can be found in both rural and urban locations and different Virginia ciders offer different flavors and drinking experiences. The best way to find out your preference? We recommend you visit several cideries throughout the Commonwealth and taste away.
We’re rounding up a few Virginia cideries below that are especially pleasant to visit in the fall as the air starts to get more crisp and foliage is ready to be admired. You’ll find cideries on the list all over the map, some with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, others of the Shenandoah Valley and one just a few blocks from the Chesapeake Bay.
What started as a small orchard nursery became much more in 2009 with the opening of Albemarle CiderWorks. The family-run business currently has 15 ciders available for tasting and purchase at its North Garden tasting room. Open daily from September to December, this is a beautiful spot to pack a picnic (or grab some delicious pizza from nearby Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie) and enjoy a cider tasting over lunch. In season, you can find fresh cider and apples available for purchase when you visit.
The Bold Rock team says its headquarters and primary cider production facility is affectionately known as the “chapel of apple” - and with a name like that, who could resist a visit? Located in Nelson County, Bold Rock’s Nellysford location is a great place to try sweet, dry and seasonal ciders while enjoying a bite from the craft food menu. The vast grounds provide many spaces to gather among the company of family and friends while taking in scenic views of the Rockfish River. Bold Rock, which was founded in 2012 and today is the largest regional craft cider in the United States, is a great testament to how the cider category as a whole is growing in Virginia.
A fall beach getaway, anyone? Buskey Cider’s flagship location is in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition neighborhood, but the outpost location in the beach town of Cape Charles is quite charming in its own right with a location just a few blocks from the bay and ample outdoor gathering space. Buskey cider varieties range from classic dry to more creative, including choices perfect for fall like caramel apple and pumpkin pie.
On a 600-acre estate in Keswick, you’ll find Castle Hill Cider among the mountains with plenty of room for kids and leashed dogs to explore and roam. The cider menu lists its offerings from dry to sweet, including the dry and tannic Orchard Select and Rosé cider with dark cherry and elderberry notes. Flights, which offer 2-ounce pours of three different ciders, are a great way to try different Castle Hill Ciders - or you can mix it up, literally - with a cider cocktail. The food menu features sandwiches, salads, charcuterie and desserts. If you time your visit right, maybe the warm apple cider donut will be on the menu, which comes topped with pumpkin ice cream & a caramel drizzle.
This Charlottesville cidery relocated in 2019 to a renovated, century-old stone church - what used to be Neve Hall. If you enjoy history as much as you enjoy cider, you might put Potter’s Craft at the top of your list to visit for the historic location alone. Cider selections at Potter’s run the gamut from the always-available flagship ciders to small-batch and more limited offerings. If you visit, check the calendar ahead of time to see if any community events or live music are planned - there’s often something happening on site. Bonus: Potter’s Craft Cider is just a quick drive away from other Charlottesville stops that are great for fall, including the Saunders-Monticello Trail and the University of Virginia.
It doesn’t get much more autumnal than a cidery located on the grounds of a 60-acre orchard - and Old Hill Cidery checks that box. Nestled in Timberville on the property of Showalter's Orchard and Greenhouse, you can enjoy cider while surrounded by the very apple trees - the same ones that make Old Hill’s orchard-style ciders. Ciders range from dry to seasonal fruit varieties, including peach, strawberry and blackberry. With views of the Shenandoah Valley, you can pack a visit to Showalter's Orchard and Old Hill Cidery with apple picking and warm apple cider donuts. You can even take your visit to the next level by booking a farm stay.
There’s More to Explore
Beyond these cideries, there are many others worth exploring in Virginia. Take a look at a full list of cideries in the Commonwealth here, and let us know in the comments which one you hope to visit first this fall. Cheers!