On the first day of November He and I took advantage of the extra hour of sleep to head through Nelson Count and a pay second visit to Route 151
We stopped at four very distinct places and maybe the weather had something to do with it, but this trip through was much more fun! Scroll down to read about my visits to Silverback Distillery, Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery, Bold Rock Cider and Wild Wolf.
An uniquely -themed distillery with three amazing, award winning spirits (gin, vodka, and grain). Worried about having to take them straight? No worries, the fun staff are great cocktail makers and provide perfect drinks that still allow the spirit to be tasted. …Now if only Virginia would ease up on their ABC laws, only a shot total, per customer, per day.
It was hard deciding which winery we should stop at on our recent visit through Route 151 in Nelson County, but after carefully reviewing what people were saying on Google, we decided on Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery. We weren’t lucky enough to go during the season for berry picking, but we were lucky enough to try some wonderful fruit wines and meads (including a pumpkin one that I loved!). They had so many options to choose from that it made it a challenge to choose a glass of one, but in the end we got a glass of pear wine and cranberry wine. I am most bummed out about not leaving with a few bottles. The prices are very low and our tastings would have been free with the purchase of a bottle. My next visit though, I won’t be walking away empty-handed.
One of my most favorite ciders comes from a cidery right in Virginia. Never too sweet, and just the right amount of tart, Bold Rock Cidery really knows how to make great cider. So when passing through Route 151 this time around, I made sure that a visit to them was our top priority.
Once you park, you need to take a long, zig-zagging walkway up to their barn-like tasting room. The walk up, plus my eagerness made it feel like I was at an amusement park and this was the one ride I had been waiting for my whole lifetime. After reaching the top of the hill, I was taken aback by the beauty of their tasting “barn” and the entrance to the barn was all you could see at first. But once opening the grey double doors you are enter a magical place full of energy and warmth.
The inside of the barn was massive! There was a large fireplace that was surrounded by comfy seating areas. And thanks to the beautiful fall weather, it was quite empty. Everyone was outside enjoying the views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains! Outside were TONS of areas to relax and sip on their cider. There were cozy chairs surrounding fire pits, picnic tables on decks with trees growing through them, and there was plenty more seating down on the grassy area next to the creek that runs by. There was also a huge open field, perfect for running around with your dog or kids!
On the second floor they even had a small cider museum going that showed the process and history of the beverage. And it is just a small room but I learned so much! You even get a bird’s eye view of their brewing area. They had massive brew tanks, which is no surprise considering how much they distribute throughout the state.
The cool thing about Bold Rock, besides their lovely, massive property, is they offer two free samples of their Virginia ciders and then you can purchase a flight with four of their other ciders. In their flight I received my personal favorite, the Bold Rock Pear (which blends New Zealand pears with Virginia Apples. Fun fact: one of the founders of Bold Rock is actually from New Zealand!), plus three other tastings of ciders I had never tried before:
- IPA (short for India pressed apple) which is a dry hopped cider blended together using hops and local granny smith apples
- Vat No. 1 was an off dry, but balanced hard cider
- Vintage Dry which was a complex but crisp hard cider (both of their hard ciders were higher in alcohol, sold in wine bottles, and served in small wine-sized tasting glasses)
Bold Rock was an absolutely amazing experience and lord, do they have delicious ciders. I suggest everyone put it on the top of their to-do list when visiting the Route 151 area in Nelson County!
Wild Wolf Brewing Company is a lovely brewery and restaurant that shares a spot on Route 151. Located close to Bold Rock, it was our last stop of the night. Sadly, we were unable to get many good pictures here because daylight savings time has now made it dark by 6PM. But it was an amazing brewery nonetheless. With a wide selection of beers and adorable square tasting glasses, I was eager to try them all!! We had many favorites; their seasonals were quite good.
Beers aside, the property is great! It reminded me so much of Austin bars. Wild Wolf had a wonderful outdoor area with a koi pond, gazebo, and a little playground for the kids. So next time you’re in the area and looking for a fun brewery, stop here! Bring the kids, bring the dogs, and prepare yourself for a large flight.