After our great lunch at Wild Wolf Brewery last Saturday, we headed over to Bold Rock Cidery. Just last year we drove past Bold Rock but did not have time to stop in. At the time, it was just a small barn by the side of the road. Well, things change in a year and it's apparently been a very good year for cider. We walked our way up the hillside along a winding boardwalk, arriving at the 12,000 sq. ft. building that houses the cider making and bottling operations, a cider museum, and a large rustic seating area in which to enjoy the cider. Numerous tasting stations are set up where visitors are treated to free samples of the four ciders being produced. There is also a multi-level deck where one can sit outside and take in the view.
After standing there, and probably looking lost for a few moments we were directed to a tasting station where we tried out the four ciders. Bold Rock Virginia Apple is light, crisp and slightly sweet. Next we tried Virginia Draft. This cider is darker than the first, and drier with a bit less sweetness. Crimson Ridge Vintage Dry is a sparkling cider with a mild flavor and dry finish. Crimson Ridge Vat No. 1 is a sparkling cider with hints of tart green apples.
After our sampling, we made our way the serving bar where we all opted for glasses of Bold Rock Virginia Draft. Carrying our glasses outside to the deck, which is built over the hillside behind the cidery. It provides a gorgeous view of a mountain stream and of the mountains covered in their fall colors.
We lingered quite some time while sipping our cider and taking in the views. The weather was extremely pleasant and perfect for sitting outside. After finishing our drinks, we went inside to see the displays about cider making, as well as the watch the bottling machinery visible through glass walls. Watching the constant stream of bottles going down the lines, to be filled with cider and then packaged, combined with the rhythmic sounds accompanying the process was very mesmerizing.
The new Bold Rock cidery is quite impressive, and shows just how popular cider, particularly Bold Rock Cider, has become. Next time we visit, perhaps we'll pack a picnic lunch to enjoy while overlooking the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.