**SPECIAL PRE-FESTIVAL OFFSITE EVENT**
At Albemarle CiderWorks, it’s all about the trees. Founded by the Shelton family in 2000, planting began with a small selection of interesting apples. Today, the orchard has grown to more than 200 varietals of heirloom and recent tree fruits, each carefully chosen and lovingly nurtured for their ability to deliver world-class cider.
Join historian and Albemarle CiderWorks owner Charlotte Shelton for an exclusive guided tour of the family orchards and cider production facilities. Meet members of her family, and travel through Virginia’s rich history of cider-making while enjoying stories of the people who crafted and consumed this wonderful beverage. See the presses that were used then, and fast forward to current production equipment and pressing procedures.
Following the tour, guests will enjoy a cider, cheese and single varietal apple pairing, featuring a selection of award-winning goat milk cheeses from the celebrated Caromont Farm. Chef and artisan cheesemaker Gail Hobbs Page will join us to share her time-honored food and family philosophy – that delicious and nutritious food comes from animals that eat and live well. Caromont goats are raised on the sustainable principles of grass-based holistic management. Taste first-hand how this practice creates vibrant, full-flavored cheeses of place.
Following the event, guests will enjoy a visit to the North Garden Farmer’s Market, located on the grounds of Albemarle CiderWorks.
On-premise parking available.
2545 Rural Ridge Lane
North Garden, Va 22959
In 2001, Charlotte Shelton and her family founded Vintage Virginia Apples LLC to develop and exploit the collection of distinctive and mostly heirloom apples they had collected on their farm at North Garden, Virginia. They established a nursery that propagates rare and hard-to-find fruit trees, offered workshops on related horticultural topics and in 2009 embarked on their most ambitious project, Albemarle CiderWorks. Under their farm winery license, they produce a variety of distinctive ciders, using their own and other locally produced apples. The second cidery in Virginia, Albemarle CiderWorks aims to improve its own ciders and support the emergence of cider in the state.
Gail Hobbs-Page received her first pair of goats as a child growing up on a North Carolina farm. “I loved their milk, and I loved the idea that I could make many things from their milk.” Today, Gail and her husband own Caromont Farm in Esmont, Virginia, tucked away in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, where Gail produces farmstead, artisan cheeses from her herd of Alpine, La Mancha and Saanen goats. Caromont Farm also produces cow’s milk cheeses from nearby grass fed Silky Cow Farm. She speaks passionately about the potential for Virginia terroir — a wine making term meaning the expression of place through flavor. While cheese making has been an important method of cold storage since Virginia’s colonial period, the making of artisan cheeses is relatively new to Virginia, with Gail leading the way.