Cobbler Mountain Cellars is a vineyard, farm winery and cidery in Delaplane, Virginia. The property, owned by Jeff and Laura McCarthy Louden, is located 45 miles west of Washington, D.C. and 20 miles North-West of the county seat, Warrenton.
Laura’s father, Lawrence, purchased the farm in 1959. Leaving Washington, D.C., a writing post with the Associated Press and a sold houseboat in the harbor ~ he searched for open space with land and a farm school to take his writing into the classroom. He made a handshake deal with the farmer ready to retire from Cobbler Mountain and settled on $100 an acre, plus the cow and chickens.
Lawrence began teaching in the nearby town of Marshall. He was quickly known for his connection to students, especially those with special needs and disabilities. The farm became a learning center for all; a frequent field trip destination.
In 1967, Lawrence received an offer to direct a school in South Carolina. Recently married and planning to start a family on the farm, it was a tough decision, but one he couldn’t pass up. With plans to return, they rented out their old farmhouse and headed south.
Upon arrival to his new job, McCarthy was dismayed over the conditions of the school and small number of teachers and volunteers, and he was determined to make positive changes. He formed a committee of volunteers and pursued a Federal grant for a new facility. While waiting for the answer & anxious for positive change, he peacefully integrated two segregated schools in the region.
Tragically, Lawrence died at age 42 of sudden heart failure. He did not live long enough to receive two pieces of good news waiting for him: his grant proposal had been accepted, and his daughter Laura was on the way.
Laura was born, raised and educated in South Carolina, but visited the Virginia farm over the summers. Eventually the farm and tenants became burdensome and was left needing repairs and attention. Laura continued to love the farm, and 40+ years later, after a visit with her new husband, Jeff, they made plans to revitalize the farm.
In 2005, they began work establishing climate stations, then restoring and preparing the land for its first vineyard planting. They built a new road and bridge, designed house plans, and built a house with start-up cellar space for a business. In October 29th, 2009 they hosted a Farm Awakening – 50 years after the original purchase date.
Today Cobbler Mountain produces numerous wines and ciders, producing over 2,500 cases plus kegs. Jeff makes the ciders while Laura manages the tasting room, sharing ownership and talents to keep the family farm and business rolling.