Grapevine & Vintner Profile, Wining & Dining

Castle Hill Cider

A refreshing alternative along Virginia’s wine trail.

otc3Castle Hill earned a place in the history books on June 3, 1781, when Jack Jouett set off on his perilous 40-mile ride to Charlottesville to warn Thomas Jefferson of an impending British raid. As the story goes, it was at Castle Hill that owners Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Walker succeeded in delaying British forces, providing time enough for Jouett to fulfill his mission and save the day. Today Castle Hill continues to make history as a world class event center and producer of artisan hard ciders. Located a short distance east of Charlottesville along the wine trail of Central Virginia, Castle Hill’s cidery and event center is spectacularly set among 600 acres of meadows, ponds and orchards with mountain vistas.

In the cidery at Castle Hill, ciders are meticulously produced in small batches, using traditional and modern methods, and boast a crisp, contemporary style in a range of flavor profiles. Favorites among the assortment are the classic off-dry Celestial, a balanced blend with a firm tannin structure and notes of spice and citrus; the extra-dry Terrestrial, with notes of apple and peach and a clean, refreshing dry finish; and the fruit-forward, semi-dry Serendipity, with a hint of sweetness.

Recently introduced and very popular is the fortified Big Pippin cider, with notes of fresh ginger on the nose, hints of vanilla and caramel on the palette, and a lengthy finish. Awards for Castle Hill’s ciders are many and include Silver medals for the Celestial and Ancient Orchard ciders at the 2016 Great Lakes International Cider competition and ‘Best Cider’ at the 2016 Virginia State Fair for the Serendipity.

otc1Castle Hill Cider is available to taste or purchase by the glass or bottle in the tasting room in Keswick. An assortment of specialty breads, spreads, nuts and cheeses are offered to complement tastings. The Tasting Room features a mahogany tasting bar, fieldstone fireplace and French doors that open to a dramatic outdoor tasting area with 360 degree pastoral and mountain views.

Hours of operation are 11 am to 5 pm Monday through Sunday, with a sunset concert series on the first and third Thursday of the month through October 20. On Sunday September 4, Castle Hill will host their very own cider fest featuring cider from six other Virginia cideries, live music, food trucks and balloon rides. Cider enthusiasts will appreciate The Castle Hill Cider Club, offering member benefits such as limited release ciders, monthly deliveries, discounts and exclusive events.

otc2The event center at Castle Hill was recently recognized by Borrowed and Blue in their “Best of 2016” in the wedding venue category. The ethereal setting includes a historic 11,000 square foot barn that has been totally modernized as a year-round party venue, with ample room for seated receptions and terraced lawns with spectacular views.

With its colorful legacy, natural beauty, and the distinctive cider that proudly bears its name, Castle Hill is a destination not to be missed. Visit the tasting room any day of the week for a refreshing alternative along Virginia’s wine trail.

Castle Hill Cider 6065 Turkey Sag Road – Keswick, VA 22947 434-296-0047

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