Print This Post Print This Post

Foggy Ridge Delivers Liquid Gold

Foggy Ridge Cider Pippin Black
Foggy Ridge Pippin Black Dessert Cider, Dugspur, VA.

Have you ever heard of an apple port? Nope, me neither. But I had a very attractive, tall and thin 375ml bottle to sample with VWG staff and friends at the conclusion of our Viognier/Cab Franc Panel II.

Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider, in the heart of VA near Floyd, has crafted a new product. It’s called Foggy Ridge Pippin Black Dessert Cider. You need to get some.

You know how port is made, right? Grapes are harvested and fermented as usual, til the juice reaches a certain degree of sweetness. Then clear brandy is added to stop the fermentation which locks in the sugar content. From there, you get into your wood ports or bottle ports.

Foggy Ridge Pippin Black is a “wood port” of sorts, made with an incredibly opulent red apple — the Arkansas Black — that is rich in sugar and spice. Diane ages the apples prior to fermentation, which lends even more concentrated flavors. Clear apple brandy from a VA distiller is added to the blend, then the cider is tank-aged for 18 months and gets a kiss of Hungarian oak to finish it. The woman is a genius.

The cider (alc. content 18%, like a port) is deep amber in color, with great mouthfeel – not gluey or viscous, but smooth and clean. The rich apple pie flavors, laden with butterscotch/caramel  highlights, are melded with the exhilarating measure of brandy, making this a lovely after-dinner sip. I served it very cold in my fluted cognac glasses, Delamain forgive me!

Diane also let us know that your favorite restaurant or retail shop can now order for you Foggy Ridge Handmade in 500ml bottles, i.e., perfect for two. Diane says, “We are pleased to offer this unique sparkling cider made from 100% Newtown Pippin apples. This apple was prized during the Victorian era when Virginia exported Newtown Pippin to England.” She’s been growing them on her farm since 1998.

And we should also mention that Pippin Black has a sibling: Pippin Gold is another port-style offering from Foggy Ridge. Diane describes Pippin Black as “masculine” and Pippin Gold is indeed its counterpart: ethereal, light, elegant. It was recommended by Food and Wine Magazine last November in the Thanksgiving issue. Totally magical.

Located near Floyd, VA, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Foggy Ridge Cider is open Fridays 12 to 5, Saturdays 11 to 5 and Sundays 12 to 5, with events throughout the year. Visit for special events and information on apples and cider. And read our earlier story on Virginia hard cider too!

Foggy Ridge Cider family

Photo courtesy of Foggy Ridge Cider, Dugspur, VA.