Before there was Courthouse Creek Cider, there were Liza and Eric—single parents raising their children on the Central Coast of California. Liza taught grades K-6 in a proverbial one-room, “little red schoolhouse.” Eric ran a small eatery/private chef business. He also practiced law. They met. They fell in love. They got married and moved their new, blended family to Virginia. Why? Because Virginia is for lovers—or so they say!
Well, additionally, sometime in 2012, Eric and Liza wrote down their dreams on a big piece of construction paper. When they stepped back and took a look at the paper, they saw the ideal home: a living, breathing, healthy environment for their kids to explore and in which to grow up; a place where they could plant an orchard and produce an honest product—made from their land—that tapped into their experiences of living on the Central Coast. And this ideal place had a creek running through it.
Eric’s cidermaking experience actually began with an appreciation for the wines being produced in the Paso Robles/Templeton area of California. For years he visited the area, hung out with winemakers, and created winemaker dinners as a private chef. Bitten by the wine bug, he always thought his road would lead to a vineyard and winemaking. But in 2013, he tasted a dry Virginia cider. He and Liza went all in with cider from that moment on! Eric’s nature is to question the status quo, so, that’s what he did when he and Liza sat down to ruminate on the type of cider they wished to make. Guided by their love of natural, fermented foods, simple truths, and sincerity, they arrived at the only answer they could: Follow a rustic method to produce heartfully made, fine Virginia cider. Courthouse Creek Cider is the only cidery in Virginia to produce all of its ciders using barrels and little to no preservatives. We embrace the funk, and we invite you to do the same!
From her early childhood days in Idaho to being raised in California to now, Liza maintains a strong affinity for growing and nurturing anything living! It is her vision that guides the orchard along with our commitment to steward our land. She takes a holistic, organic approach to our orchard and will continue to seek the least invasive and healthy way to grow our fruit. As Liza says, “We live, work, and play on the property, so it is very important to us that we treat the orchard as we do our own lives—feed it well, avoid toxins, and give it lots of love!” In the future, we hope to make scion wood (cuttings from our trees) available for grafting, host seminars on gardening/orchard practices, and offer other such events, including special events for our Cider Club members.
Currently, we have four acres of trees planted with a variety of American, English, and French cider apple trees. We see ourselves as more than growers, but stewards of the land and valuable members of our community. Indeed, our local area’s rural roots, smart growth, and beauty are important to our family. We aim to build meaningful connections—not only between what goes in the ground here and, ultimately, into the glass—but community connections as well. For us, the term terroir means more than just the nature of the land; it necessarily includes the entire sense of a place. Visit us, not only to taste our cider, but to tour and enjoy our orchard and small farm.