Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider — a true tastemaker — announced last week in an email to members of the Virginia industry that “After 20 years growing apples and 12 years making cider, I’ve decided to return full time to growing cider apples.”
This is obviously huge news in the East Coast and American cider world. Flynt is an icon in the industry and community. There is more news to come on this, but I wanted to thank Diane personally for being the first person to introduce me to high-quality apple cider that is nothing at all like the mass-produced, six-pack stuff you see everywhere today. She’s long aligned herself with the Virginia wine community — and it’s easy to see why. Her ciders fit that category more than they do beer or any other beverage.
Flynt is releasing the last vintage of Foggy Ridge Ciders under a “Final Call” label. I know that I’ll be ordering some soon. You should too. This is the final bottling of an important cidery.
Diane, I know you’re still going to be active in the Virginia community, so this isn’t goodbye — just a thank you.
The full announcement is below:
Final Call From Foggy Ridge
In 1997, full of pioneer optimism, I founded Foggy Ridge Cider by planting a cider apple orchard. Guided by a belief that “ingredients matter”, this original orchard contained over 30 cider apples, many never before grown in the south. From our first 2005 vintage, Foggy Ridge Cider has grown from a small cidery making a few hundred cases to an admired producer on the national beverage stage, with distribution in 15 states, three James Beard nominations and widespread recognition. Much of this growth has been due to the support from respected food and beverage professionals like you.
I began my cider journey firmly planted in the orchard…it’s now time to return to my roots. I plan to focus full time on growing great cider apples at Foggy Ridge, on developing our three orchards and supporting high quality cider through industry talks, writing and full throated enthusiasm. I want to thank you for championing Foggy Ridge Cider and for your warm endorsement over the years.
On this celebratory note, we are releasing Foggy Ridge Final Call as our last and final label. Made from our most distinctive cider apples, this blend brings our 3000′ elevation orchards from the Virginia mountains to your glass.
I’m often asked, “Did you know where you would end up when you founded Foggy Ridge?” The answer is this…I’ve always been more interested in the steps in the journey than the destination. I’m delighted to have received such wonderful recognition and success, but I’ve been most satisfied by the details of “growing and making” something of quality and…most of all…by the many relationships we’ve made with so many wonderful partners like you.
I’ll stay in touch with news of the orchard as well as the wider cider world. I’m excited to dig into new projects on the farm and afield. Be sure to remember, you have an open invitation to visit the Foggy Ridge orchards…after all, that’s where flavor begins.