Chuck Shelton of Albemarle Ciderworks & Vintage Virginia Apples weighs in on blending and single apple variety ciders and the complexity of cidermaking.
This Virginia cidery is a family run business on a farm that was purchased by the Shelton Family. Today the business side of the cidery is managed by his sister Charlotte, while Chuck overseas the cider. Their brother Bill is the Nursery Manager and Bill’s daughter Anne Shelton is the General Manager. This is a142 acre farm with a 12 acre orchard, where they grow over 250 varieties! The soil is red clay or what Chuck calls a “rocky. red clay”.
The Sheltons tend to apple tree for the cidery and also sell trees. Their friendship with Virginian Tom Buford, has been fruitful for the family not only because he is consider now part of the family, but due to his extensive knowledge of Apples. Tom is the author of Apple of North American: Exceptional Varieties for Growers, Gardeners and Cooks, which won the 2014 American Horticulture Society book Award.
Chuck Shelton was an “amateur cidermaker” for 7 years before he took a class in 2006 with Peter Mitchell, who teaches cidermaking. In 2008 the Sheltons obtained the licensing to open Albemarle and in 2009 the cidery was opened to the public.
Visitors can purchased ‘fresh pressed apple juice” for consumption and a full range of blended and single variety ciders. Chuck provided lots of tidbits on how he does a blended cider and single variety ciders.
Chuck describes Albemarle as a four prong business
- Fresh Pressed Juice
- Classes on pruning, grafting, planning a home orchard
- Cider Forum
Contact info for Albemarle Ciderworks and Vintage Virginia Apples
Tasting Room and Information
2545 Rural Ridge Lane
North Garden, VA 22959
Tasting Room Hours and Information
Office Phone: 434.297.2326
Tasting Room Phone: 434.979.1663
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