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Virginia cideries receive $20,000 to promote the industry

virginia-blue-oversizeCideries and orchards in the state have been awarded grants from the Virginia Department of Agriculture to promote growing apples for cider.

Potter’s Craft Cider in Albemarle County received a $500 grant to plant apple trees. “We planted 18 trees,” said owner Tim Edmund, who called the planting “our entry into growing apples.” The cidery opened in 2010 and was the fourth of its kind in the state.

“We’re focused on using local fruit and keeping things close to home,” Edmund said. “We’ve been using local apples, and now we’ll have our own apples.”

A total of $20,000 will be awarded to cideries in the state to increase the number of specialized hard-cider apple trees in Virginia.

“Cider apples tend to be high in acids and tannins. They make really good cider apples but aren’t very good to eat,” Edmund said. Cider apple varieties include Arkansas Black, Black Twig, Kingston Black and Gold Rush.

Edmund is optimistic about the future of the cider industry in Virginia. “I think it’s going to grow, and we’re at the front of it.”

Other orchards that received grants include Bowman Orchards LLC, SAK Enterprises and Showalter’s Orchard and Greenhouse LLC in Rockingham County; Drumheller’s Orchards , Saunders Brothers Inc. and Silver Creek Orchards Inc. in Nelson County; Highland Orchard Farm in Albemarle County; and Morris Orchard in Amherst County.