Leah Pagett

Leah Pagett is the Head Cidermaker at Bold Rock Hard Cider in Nellysford, VA where she utilizes her knowledge and passion for craft beverages to create award-winning ciders. Graduating from James Madison University with a degree in Biology laid the foundation for her journey into the craft beverage industry. She started working at Bold Rock in 2017, igniting a passion for all things cider.

Driven by the desire to continuously improve and innovate, Leah became a Certified Pommelier to deepen her understanding of the craft by strengthening her sensory skills and creating relationships within the community to help grow the cider industry.

Don Whitaker

Don Whitaker has been nurturing his passion for cider since relocating to Virginia from Georgia in 2016. Serendipitously, a position on the production team at Castle Hill Cider became available and he seized the opportunity to learn the fine art of cidermaking and orcharding. Today, he is the lead cidermaker and visionary of Castle Hill’s cider library. From dry to semi-sweet, and from fruit and botanical ciders to dessert style/apple brandy fortified ciders, he utilizes the 40+ varieties of cider apples in the Castle Hill Orchard and from sources around the state to create nuanced offerings. When he’s not making cider or in the orchard, he is tending to his love of music. He and his wife Pam are active in the local music community as members of the Rapidan Orchestra, as well as other bands about town.

Ian Niblock

Ian Niblock is the Director of Cidermaking at Bold Rock Hard Cider. He has ben in the cider industry for 10 years. He started as an assistant cidermaker and worked his way to Director of Cidermaking at Bold Rock, making award winning cider throughout the journey. He chose to become a Certified Pommelier™ to expand his knowledge of cidermaking, broaden his palette, and meet equally passionate people in the industry.

Joshua Corl

What started for Joshua Corl as a home brewing and cidermaking hobby led to an internship and then employment as a Cidermaker at Back Bay’s Farmhouse Brewery in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His goal there is to make a broad variety of cider styles and to convert as many beer and wine drinkers as possible. 

Joshua chose to pursue his Certified Pommelier™ because he loves making and drinking cider, and he aims to bring his expertise into developing new techniques for making classic and modern ciders in Virginia.