Of Apples and Grapes

Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Of Apples and Grapes
Wedding at Castle Hill Cidery–on the lawn

 Grapes have not always been the fruit of choice for farmers in the Charlottesville/Albemarle/Nelson County area.  Central Virginia once was and still is known as apple country.  Indeed, the Albemarle Pippin owes its name to the area in which it was so successfully grown for centuries—Albemarle County.  Today the fruit is coming back into popularity, thanks to the nation’s love of American wines.  Yes, there be apple wines in Virginia and the Albemarle Pippin makes for one of the best apple wines.

Varieties of Pippin Apple
The Albemarle Pippin actually originated in 1700 near the village of Newtown on Long Island, New York. Col. Thomas Walker of Castle Hill in Keswick, Virginia visited Newtown, and brought back with him  Albemarle Apple seedlings .  He planted these on his farm and before long he had whole orchards of Pippins.  Thomas Walker, by the way, was a friend of our own beloved Thomas Jefferson. 
The Albemarle Pippin is not very attractive, as far as apples go. It would almost be an insult for someone to say you are the Albemarle Pippin of my eye.  That is  why you won’t find it in grocery stores. It looks like a poor second cousin to a ripe Rome or Delicious.  But taste wise, it surpasses both. 
Castle Hill Cidery–great place for your
wedding and reception!

Today, Thomas Walker’s home is the site of a cidery—Castle Hill Cidery.  It is a grand place for a wedding with lots of lawns and other beautiful areas, and of course, orchards.  And an added plus is that you can offer your guests several varieties of apple wine at the reception following.  So consider historic Castle Hill Cidery as a venue for your wedding.  To arrange for a visit and talk about your wedding plans, call Castle Hill’s director of events, Evelyn Keyes.  Her contact information is  202.390.2323 or at events@castlehillcider.com.  It will be worth your time, promise.  

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