Castle Hill Cider Releases Orchard Select Cider in Collaboration with Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Media inquiries:
Rob Campbell, General Manager
Castle Hill Cider 434-296-0047

Keswick, Virginia, November 30, 2023 – Castle Hill Cider is pleased to announce its second release of Orchard Select, a special hard cider made in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. 

Utilizing apples harvested from Monticello and Castle Hill’s orchards, the 2022 vintage includes a blend of Hewes Crab, Roxbury Russet, Albemarle Pippin, and Esopus Spitzenberg. 

These are four of the 18 cider apples cultivated at Monticello during Thomas Jefferson’s lifetime. Of these, the Albemarle Pippin was initially known as the Newton Pippin of New York, and was brought to the area by Dr. Thomas Walker, the owner of Castle Hill. In addition to being an explorer, politician, businessman, and land speculator, Dr. Walker was a prominent physician whose patient list included Thomas Jefferson’s father, Peter Jefferson. A close friend of the Jefferson family, Dr. Walker became one of Thomas Jefferson’s guardians after his father’s passing. While speculative, it is reasonable to conclude that Walker shared this cultivar with Thomas Jefferson, as the first Albemarle Pippins were planted in 1769, just one year after their scions were brought to Virginia. Jefferson once wrote when comparing apples on a trip to Paris, “They have no apple to compare with our Newtown (Albemarle) Pippin."

While the Pippin became an industry crop due to export to England, the Hewes Crab, Roxbury Russet, and Esopus Spitzenberg were also competitively ranked and rated on pomological charts of the time. Inspired by this history, the collaboration cider is aptly named Orchard Select.

“This cider is truly history in a glass, and a celebration of Virginia heirloom apples,” said Rob Campbell, General Manager of Castle Hill Cider. “We’re delighted to again partner with Monticello to celebrate the history of Virginia hard cider through this collaborative blend.”

Dry and delicate, this green and flinty cider boasts a striking gold color and brings a great story to the table. Orchard Select will be available for purchase at the Castle Hill Cider Tasting Room, on their website at, shipping to Virginia residents only, and at The Shop at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

"Apples have long been grown at Monticello, and this partnership with Castle Hill provides an opportunity for us to share this history with our guests,” said Monticello General Merchandising Manager, Stephanie Fox. “We invite everyone to experience this delicious cider—it makes a great addition to any holiday dinner table!”

About Castle Hill Cider

Inspired by the historical roots of Castle Hill Estate and the first Albemarle Pippin apples grown here post-Revolutionary War, our cider makers set out to create the highest quality Virginia cider season after season. Utilizing a variety of apples grown both on our 600-acre grounds and by a community of local growers, a library of orchard-driven Virginia ciders is available at our Tasting Room and Grounds in Keswick, Virginia. We invite you to discover Castle Hill Cider - a true ground to glass adventure for your senses. 

About The Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello 

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, the foundation seeks to bring history forward into national and global dialogues by engaging audiences with Jefferson’s world and ideas and inviting them to experience the power of place at Monticello and on its website. Monticello is recognized as a National Historic Landmark, a United Nations World Heritage Site, and a Site of Conscience. As a private, nonprofit organization, the foundation does not receive ongoing government support to fund its twofold mission of preservation and education. For information, visit