Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Foggy Ridge First Fruit Hard Cider (VA)

So yesterday, I finally got a chance to have some more Foggy Ridge Cider. They are one of my favorite cider producers, though I must admit, I still, after having been drinking their ciders for more than three years, that they are from Virginia! Last night, at Trump Tower, I was able to renew my relationship with Foggy Ridge Ciders, and I had a chance to meet and chat with Diane Flynt.

Diane is the owner and cidermaker at Foggy Ridge which she co-owns with her husband. She was dressed stylishly at the tasting, and was an absolute standout.

The Blue Ridge mountains have long produced fine apples. Queen Victoria so prized Newtown Pippins from Bent Mountain and central Virginia that she removed the export tax from this spicy aromatic apple. Quality cider begins with quality cider apples. Foggy Ridge Cider blends heirloom American apples like Harrison, Graniwinkle and Roxbury Russett with traditional English and French cider apples to create unique ciders.

Cidermaker and apple grower Diane Flynt continues to experiment in the orchard.

"She treats her trees like individuals"–a neighboring farmer accuses apple grower and cidermaker Diane of her lavishing too much attention on her apple trees. That's a good thing for you and me.

Foggy Ridge Cider aims to revive the artisan cidermaking tradition. As cidermaker Diane is intimately involved in all aspects of the orchard and Cider House from grafting and pruning to picking and blending.

Diane was proud to tell us that Foggy Ridge is available in this market. She explained that Foggy Ridge's First Fruit cider blends early season American heirloom apples to create a rich fruity cider with lively acidity to drink, like Thomas Jefferson, on its own or with a meal. This is among their most popular ciders. While the Serious Cider is more off-dry to dry, and a more classic French farmhouse style, the First Fruit if off-dry ot semi-sweet. Not cloyingly so, but just a hint more cider. There's some wonderful aromas. Like biting into a fresh apple. This is a tart delicious cider with lots of flavor. Cold, crisp, and refreshing, I had the cider with cheese and Smithfield ham. Mmmmmmmm! Fantastic!