Press Release from the Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe:
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Coyote Hole Ciderworks, LLC will build a new cidery in Louisa County and create five new jobs. The company will invest $775,000 to build a new production cidery and tasting room in Mineral. In addition, Coyote Hole Ciderworks will purchase more than 1 million pounds of Virginia-grown apples and fruit over the next three years.
“Coyote Hole Ciderworks’s investment in Louisa County bolsters Virginia’s reputation as a top East Coast craft beverage destination and highlights the growing and important link between agriculture and tourism across the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I commend Coyote Hole Ciderworks’ commitment to locally sourced apples and their expansion exemplifies the economic strength of Virginia-crafted products. We will continue to support and invest in the Commonwealth’s diverse agricultural resources and showcase our outstanding local businesses that drive the new Virginia economy.”
During fiscal year 2016, nearly 417,000 cases of Virginia cider were sold, an increase of more than 52 percent over fiscal year 2015. Currently, Virginia is sixth in the nation for number of cideries. According to a 2012 economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry, including the Virginia cider industry, employs more than 4,700 and contributes almost $750 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis. National industry analysts expect solid growth to continue in this sector for the next several years.
“Coyote Hole Ciderworks’s expansion represents another positive step for Virginia as we reinforce our reputation as a key player in the nation’s hard cider sector,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden, speaking at the event on the Governor’s behalf. “Craft beverages are contributing positively to cities and rural communities across the Commonwealth, adding to the Governor’s call to build a new Virginia economy.”
The Commonwealth is partnering with Louisa County and Coyote Hole Ciderworks on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Governor McAuliffe approved a $20,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist with the project, which Louisa County is matching with local funds.
“We are extremely excited and grateful to be working with the County of Louisa and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Chris Denkers, President and CEO of Coyote Hole Ciderworks. “We strive, personally and with our business, to support local small businesses and we are excited to be working with several Virginia orchards to use 100 percent Virginia apples. This grant will help us get up and running, grow more quickly and bring new jobs into Louisa County while supporting local businesses throughout Virginia.”
“Louisa County is fortunate to have Coyote Hole Ciderworks as part of our business community, the first of its kind in the County,” added Chairman Lloyd Runnett of the Louisa County Industrial Development Authority. “We are thankful for Chris and Laura Denkers’ entrepreneurial spirit and their proactive approach in pursuing their passion to bring a unique business, such as Coyote Hole Ciderworks, to Louisa County. These projects play an important role in tourism and the County’s agritourism industry, which is an increasing economic development focus for the County. We are excited to be a part of this important project and wish Coyote Hole the most success now and in the future.”
According to a 2013 economic impact study conducted by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, agriculture and forestry are two of Virginia’s largest industries with a combined economic impact of $70 billion annually. Agriculture generates more than $52 billion per annum, while forestry induces over $17 billion. The industries also provide more than 400,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. More information about the Weldon Cooper Center’s study can be found here.