Cobbler Mountain Cellars is a licensed Virginia farm cidery situated 50 miles West of D.C. on a serene 90 acre farm. Owned & operated by Navy-vet-turned-Cider-Master Jeff Louden, wife Laura McCarthy Louden (whose father purchased the land in 1959 for $100 an acre) and their college student kids, Daniel McCarthy & Olivia Kate. Laura’s father was a member of the Coastguard by age 16. In his 30s, he wrote for the A.P. while living on a houseboat in D.C. He decided to swap his water & city life for a country teaching job. After becoming known as an activist for children with disabilities, a Southern education facility recruited him to SC. He spent the first year writing a self-directed grant package, pitching the USGovernment for a $1M building project for a Southeastern facility. After sending in the proposal, he decided all students needed this opportunity. One night, without official permission he integrated the two schools in the area….in 1968….in the South… during the peak riot era. The stress of the times and health factors, resulted in an unexpected cardiac arrest which took Mr. McCarthy’s life. He left behind a wife, a one year old and a heartbroken community. Right after his passing, Laura’s mother received the news that his airtight grant was awarded. She also received the news that Laura was on the way! Her mother held onto the farm 40 long years. Laura, her mother and sister would visit the farm and her dad’s Irish clan in DC most summers. She became attached to the wildlife, changing seasons and proximity to the city. It was a fantasy to one day live there. Fast-forward to Laura finding Jeff, a Cleveland native stationed in Charleston S.C. Their early years of marriage included his experiments with winemaking which progressively became serious. In 2005, Laura took him to view the Sleeping Beauty property on Cobbler Mountain. No road, bridge, power, water or house remained…. but he saw the potential hidden behind years of vacancy. In 2006, Jeff and Laura found work in the area, enrolled the twins in kindergarten and settled thirty mines from the farm. After three years of paperwork and infrastructure revitalization, a road was rebuilt, power installed, wells dug and a house built with a startup space in the cellar for the winery to open in 2011. By St. Paddy’s of 2014, the business moved to a separate new building on the farm and eventually transformed into a cidery. By 2015, over 40 medals had been awarded and distribution of product started statewide. Today, the ciders are sold through Virginia Wegmans, Total Wine and many specialty shops and restaurants. June 2021 marks the ten year anniversary of Fauquier’s First Cidery! The farm is a destination for many D.C. residents to visit year-round. Enjoy a country drive to visit Cobbler Mountain soon!
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