October 12, 2011

Foggy Ridge: Real Virginia Hard Cider

G and I, apple picking last year.

Tomorrow at Grape + Bean we are doing an amazing Hard Cider Tasting (tickets are still available: sign up here).  This is a repeat of last year's tasting with Diane Flynt, the owner of Foggy Ridge Cider, which was one of the best food events I have ever attended.  Eye-opening and mind-altering.

Based in Dugspur, VA (gosh I love rural Virginia!), Foggy Ridge specializes in traditional hard cider techniques, and grows over 30 heirloom varieties of apples (from America, England, and France).  This is cider unlike any you've ever tasted before (unless you've travelled extensively in France).  Dry, with soft tannins, and brilliant fruit character, it is more like a champagne, and nothing compared to the sugar bombs of grocery store hard cider.

Diana Flynt is, quite simply, my hero.  After a successful career in banking, she and her husband bought this old family farm, and turned it into the thriving orchard it is today.  And she is supremely elegant and articulate as she describes her and fellow artisan cider brands that have sprung up over the past few years.  But I can see her mucking about in the mud, too, tending her trees, balancing flavors of her apples, cleaning equipment in the garage.  She is just that cool.

Check out this profile in Garden and Gun magazine (why don't I have a subscription to that magazine yet, I don't know!) and, check out the beautiful winter photos of Foggy Ridge also featured in the magazine.  And, if you are free tomorrow, sign up for the tasting at Grape + Bean.  You won't regret it.

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