Hard Cider in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

My detour had turned into a random stop gone bad.  I had turned off of the interstate following one of those non descript attraction signs that don’t give nearly enough information.  Lost, I continued to wander the Shenandoah Valley back roads.

I was searching for the Old Hill Hard Cider tasting room, after seeing it on a billboard a few miles back.

Old HIll Hard Cider in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley

Even after stopping to get some basic directions, I was still lost in the Shenandoah Valley countryside.  I had driven for longer than I really should have (I kept telling myself that it must be just around the corner).  Finally, I saw the sign pointing to what I had been looking for all along on my way back to the interstate.

Shenandoah Valley Landscape

“Should I still go?  It is late, are they closed?” I thought, then decided to go and see.  I am so glad that I did.

The History

Old Hill Hard Cider blossoms from a long history of cider making tradition.  Apples came to the colonies with the original settlers. Nearly every plantation owner had an orchard and made hard cider (it was a point of pride and they enjoyed bragging about it.)

Old HIll Hard Cider in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley

This is a family business.  You can tell as soon as you walk into the light and airy tasting room.  I cannot pinpoint what is it that gives the overt warm fuzzy feeling.  Perhaps it was just the feeling of being warmly welcomed like family, or the dog sleeping lazily in the late afternoon sunshine.

The Tasting

The tasting was ample and took me through the whole range of the orchard’s cider offerings.  We have had cider all over the world, and some of their varieties were different than anything else that we had ever tasted.

Old HIll Hard Cider in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley

I came away with a couple of favorites.  The Betwixt was a medium dry, sweet, easy drinking selection that would be perfect for a barbecue on a warm summer afternoon.

The Cidermaker’s Barrel caught my palate.  It was dryish but had strong undertones of Bourbon. They explained to me that because of the wild yeast that produces this cider, it tastes different each year.

The grounds would be perfect for a family picnic if the weather was nice.  Bring your kids, picnic blanket and a lunch and make an afternoon of it  in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley!

They don’t ship anywhere outside of Virginia, so if you love the cider as much as I did, make sure to bring home a bottle (or ten!)

***Tip – If you decide you want more after your visit, they also sell the full range of their ciders at the Midtown Bottle Shop right in the heart of Downtown Harrisonburg.

If you are traveling to the Shenandoah Valley, here are the other pieces I put together about the time that I have spent here.  You might find some other useful information for planning your trip

 

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