This is where it all started for us. The Rappahannock River remains a remarkably pristine waterway, with vast stretches seemingly unchanged since European settlement – 61% of its watershed is still forested, 35% is in cropland, leaving a mere 4% designated ‘urban.’
What makes the location so unique for oysters is its tie to the freshwaters of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our farm is situated near the mouth of the Rappahannock, where the full force of the river meets the Chesapeake Bay. The influence of the mineral rich freshwaters is unmistakable and accounts for the oyster’s trademark ‘sweetness.’ The low salinity (a mere 15ppt) gives you a hint of the sea while allowing the complexity of the animal shine through. Flavor depends not just on what you eat, but on what you eat ate. Therefore, it’s critical to have a healthy, diverse ecosystem in which to grow. The lower salinities not only afford you more diversity, but a lower dose of salt so that you can truly taste that diversity.
We often say, the Rappahannock is for the beginner or the connoisseur. Its quiet approach makes it easy to throw down 3 dozen without even thinking, but to the delicate palate it can unleash a chorus of wildly original notes. Pair it with an evanescent wine or caviar and you’ll experience something even richer.