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Cobbler Mountain Cellars
by
Kathy Sullivan

Cobbler Mountain CellarsSummary: Travelers along Route 66 near Delaplane, Virginia searching for a relaxing day will want to travel off the interstate a few miles to reach Cobbler Mountain Cellars. This cidery/winery is producing and emphasizing tasty ciders produced with Virginia fruit. The owners also produce several wines and have small vineyards on the property.

A few minutes after leaving busy Route 66, we found ourselves on a gravel strewn road which led further into the hilly countryside of Virginia. A few minutes later we were on a long unpaved driveway traveling past vineyards that led uphill towards the Cobbler Mountain Cellars tasting room and production facility.

Walking up a small pebble path towards the two-story building, we met Corky, a darling black medium-sized dog. Corky appeared excited to have visitors and welcomed us with barking and small excited leaps, bounds and sniffs. Walking past a large brick fire pit, we entered the tasting room.

Cobbler Mountain Cellars

Cobbler Mountain CellarsIn the tasting room, we met Laura McCarthy Louden. Laura and her husband Jeff Louden are the proud owners of Cobbler Mountain Cellars. Laura explained the cidery/winery is named for the two Cobbler Mountains that the facility is set between.

The rustic tasting room is unique with a large children’s playhouse. A circular wood tasting counter is the focal point of the room. A small peek window allows visitors to see a portion of the production area. A hallway offers a historic look at the family, with a focus on Laura’s parents who purchased the property in the late 1950s. The hallway leads to a second room set aside for cider tastings. We noticed eight cider taps. Other bottled ciders are available for tasting. While the building was built in 2014, the decor is traditional and accented with vintage doors and furniture including an oak table and chairs.

In 2009 the cidery/winery and tasting room were in the basement of their home. The tasting room and winery opened for St. Patrick’s Day in 2014. With a smile, Laura recalls adding a finishing touch the morning the building was opening to the public.

History of Cobbler Mountain Cellars

Cobbler Mountain CellarsLaura’s parents purchased the property in 1959. Her father, Lawrence Daniel McCarthy had several careers. He was originally a journalist for the AP. He also served in the Coast Guard. Eventually he focused his passion on teaching. He taught in Marshall and was able to make a connection with students with special needs. Unfortunately he passed away at an early age, only 42 from a heart attack. At the time, Laura’s mother was expecting Laura.

After her father’s death, Laura’s mother moved to South Carolina to help children with special needs and continue her education. The Virginia property was kept in the family with a nearby farming family keeping an eye on the property. In the meantime, the McCarthys occasionally visited the Virginia site.

Many years later Laura was visiting in the area and decided to visit the property again with her husband. Jeff was from Cleveland and had been making cider and wine at home in the garage. After seeing the property, Laura and Jeff had the soil analyzed by Virginia Tech. The couple decided to try to build a home on the property and use it for making wine and cider. Laura noted that it took three years for the paperwork to be worked on and to receive approval for the facility.

Currently, Laura and Jeff have seven acres of vineyards on the hilly property. The first vineyard was planted in 2008. More grapevines were added in 2010. The grape varieties include Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot. They also source grapes from other Virginia growers.

Originally the first products produced were the Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and a hard cider. In 2017 the ciders are popular and a distributor, Kysela Pere et Fils Ltd, has picked up the distributorship for Cobbler Mountain Cellars. The ciders are now sold at Wegmans throughout Virginia. Production at the winery is increasing, although the owners plan to produce only 10 styles of ciders.

Ciders

Cobbler Mountain CellarsSeveral of the Cobbler Mountain ciders are produced and available year-round. These ciders include the Traditional Jeffersonian, Mountain Top Hop, The Original Honey and Kickin’ Cinnamon. The spring and summer ciders produced are Wild Blackberry Hop, Ginger Peach and Smackin’ Orange. For fall production, the cidery concentrates on Harvest Pumpkin, Maple Stout and Jammin’ Cranberry Ginger. We tasted several of the ciders while visiting with Laura. All ciders ranged in alcohol from 6.7 to 6.9%.

The Traditional Jeffersonian cider was a light yellow color. The cider offered an apple freshness with a hint of earthiness on the aftertaste. Mountain Top Hop was a light yellow color. The cider had a very apple taste with hops on the finish.

Cobbler Mountain CellarsWild Blackberry Hop was a light yellow with a very blackberry aroma and taste. The blackberry finish yielded to hops. Original Honey was a light yellow color. The aroma and taste were of apple and honeysuckle. The finish had apple and honey that yielded to earthiness on the finish. Laura suggested heating this cider and serving it warm, paired with spicy foods.

Jammin' Cranberry Ginger offered notes of apple, cranberry and ginger. It had nice layers of apple followed by cranberry with ginger. The aftertaste had a combination of all three flavors together. Kickin’ Cinnamon was a light yellow color. The cider had cinnamon on the aroma. The taste was of cinnamon and apple reminding one of apple pie. Harvest Pumpkin was a light yellow color. Pumpkin was noted on the aroma. The taste included notes of pumpkin and apples. There was a taste of autumn.

Maple Stoudt was a dark amber color. The taste included maple syrup and apple. It reminded one of a waffle syrup or maple sugar candy.

Cobbler Mountain CellarsThe winery production area is below the tasting rooms. A room on this lower level is part storage of ciders and formal tasting area. The table-tops are from Oxford. Different styles of chairs blend together adding a delightful ambiance to the room. The chairs are from England, Italy and France. This is a cozy room for events.

Discover the tasty ciders of Cobbler Mountain Cellars and plan to enjoy time in Virginia’s mountainous countryside near the Shenandoah Mountains.

Cobbler Mountain Cellars
5909 Long Fall Ln,
Delaplane, VA 20144

 

 

Article written March 2017.



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